“It turns out at least one part of publishing has a diverse slate of authors: The books most likely to be pulled from school and library shelves. The American Library Association on Monday released its annual list of the 10 books receiving the most complaints from parents, educators and others in the local community. Sherman Alexie’s prize-winning, autobiographical novel of school life, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” ranked No. 1, followed by Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel “Persepolis” and the picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin, Peter Parnell’s and Justin Richardson’s “And Tango Makes Three.” (via AP)
“A concerned parent said a high school library book is pornographic and that it promotes prostitution and child abuse, but a school district committee voted to keep that controversial book in the library. “I just started going throughout the whole entire book, looking at it,” said Catrenna Lopez, mother of a freshman at Rio Rancho High School. Lopez took cellphone pictures after seeing the book her 15-year-old son brought home from the school library last month. “First thing I did was open up the book and come to a sex scene in the book,” Lopez said.” (via KRQE News 13)
“The Illinois Family Institute has long been listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so news that their “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins has said something incendiary about LGBTQ people is not a surprise. This time, however, the particular focus of her anti-gay rant is worth considering, if only because it partakes in the phenomenon of absurd conservative rhetoric sort of sounding good if you don’t think about it too hard.” (via Slate)
“Toronto Public Library occasionally gets requests from people who want a particular book, movie or audio recording removed from library shelves. Librarians dutifully review each complaint.
Sometimes the requests are reasonable. In 2012, for instance, a complaint led to the removal of an educational video that a library user thought reinforced racist stereotypes about date rape. The newly released list of removal requests for 2013, meanwhile, is just completely insane.
In March 2013, someone complained about Hop on Pop, a Dr. Suess book intended to teach phonics to young children, because it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers.” (via torontolife.com)
“Visitors to the Fort Smith Public Library will no longer be able to puff on electronic cigarettes while browsing through books. The library’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to ban e-cigarettes, which resemble traditional cigarettes but emit vapor instead of smoke. “The policy as it stands now just says smoking is not allowed in the library,” Library Director Jennifer Goodson told the board, which unanimously approved the measure.” (via AP)
“What do the books “The Catcher in the Rye,” “Invisible Man” and Anne Franks diary have in common? Theyve all been banned from libraries. On Sunday, the American Library Association begins its annual recognition of Banned Books Week. Tell Me More host Michel Martin talks to former ALA president Loriene Roy about targeted books, and efforts to keep them on shelves.” (via NPR)
“When library trustees in north suburban Morton Grove learned that a 16-year-old employee would oversee the showing of an R-rated film at the institution, some of them requested that an adult take over the job. The incident represents another page in the ongoing debate over the accessibility of adult-themed materials to young library patrons. “It would be highly offensive to a great number of residents of Morton Grove that the library is using their tax money to employ a 16-year-old to show movies that, under the same circumstances, that person would not be allowed to attend … without parental accompaniment,” said Trustee Catherine Peters.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“If your summer reading list includes historian Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and you’re planning to borrow it from the public library, get in line. Purdue University President Mitch Daniels’ alleged efforts to keep Zinn and his 1980 volume out of Indiana college classrooms has prompted a surge of interest in the book, and local libraries are purchasing additional copies to keep up with public demand. The book emphasizes violence against Native Americans and class inequality — presenting American history through the eyes of the common people rather than economic and political elites.” (via WWSBT-TV)
“School’s out for the summer, but there’s no vacation from book challenges. The Kids’ Right to Read Project is battling a handful of censorship cases…” (via NCAC)
“Rest assured, erotica lovers, the Toronto Public Library will not be reconsidering its collection of sexy literature, and there are still more than 250 copies of 50 Shades of Grey available (although the majority are currently out on loan). For a brief moment last year the genre faced a dilemma when one of its lesser-known works, the anthology Hard and Fast, was labelled as pornography by someone who wanted all seven copies removed from the library.” (via Toronto Star)