“It’s a debate we expect to hear a lot more of in coming years: is developing a ratings system for increasingly dark young adult literature a move toward responsibility and oversight – or a slide into censorship? In its latest iteration, the debate is being played out across the pond in the UK, where bestselling children’s authors G.P. Taylor and Patrick Ness sparred on BBC Breakfast over Taylor’s proposal to establish an age-ranging system for children’s lit.”
“A Fremont teacher’s request for a controversial story to be included in the list of acceptable texts for Advanced Placement English was rejected by Fremont Unified School District’s Board of Education in a 5-3 vote June 27. Teri Hu, a Washington High School AP English teacher, requested the use of “Bastard Out of Carolina” in 2009 and was rejected although books with similar subject matter such as “The Color Purple,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “We Were the Mulvaneys” were approved, according to Acacia O’Connor, a National Coalition Against Censorship project coordinator.”
“A New York library worker who admitted stealing more than $160,000 in overdue book fines and other revenue has been sentenced to six months in jail. The Westchester district attorney’s office says Yonkers resident Margo Reed will have to pay back the full amount and spend 4 1/2 years on probation.
via Associated Press
“How to dispense with 30 tons of books? Burn them, the custodian of a massive Canadian collection has decided.
It’s the second time the book collection in Saskatoon has been slated for a fiery end. Seven years ago, when her neighbor died, Shauna Raycraft intervened and saved the books from destruction. The neighbor’s widow, faced with the prospect of getting rid of her husband’s 300,000 books, had wanted to simply burn them. Raycraft had the books trucked to her property. Over the better part of a decade, she has managed to sort only a third of them; about 200,000 remain.
via LA Times.
“Restricted access is still censorship, the Kids’ Right to Read Project declared in its call for the return of Patricia Polacco’s In Our Mothers’ House to school library stacks in Davis County, UT. The Kids’ Right to Read Project is a joint effort of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), In a letter sent (click for .pdf) to the Superintendent of schools, the Kids’ Right to Read Project criticized the County’s recent moves to restrict access to the book, allowing it to be checked out of the school library only with a signed permission slip.
1) NCAC, Free Speech Groups Criticize M.D. Library’s “Porn” Ban – “The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) united with other freedom of expression organizations again today on behalf of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage), this time in Harford County, Maryland. In a joint letter (below) issued to the county library’s board, NCAC has arrayed co-signers representing publishers, authors, booksellers and journalists from across the nation to urge Harford County to reconsider the thinking behind its generic ban on “porn,” a subjectively and selectively defined category.”
2) NCAC Unites Orgs in Support of “The Family Book” in Erie, I.L. – “Following the ban of Todd Parr’s The Family Book (Little, Brown and Company) in Erie, Illinois, seven organizations have joined with the Kids’ Right to Read Project to oppose the decision. The Kids Right to Read Project is a joint effort of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), In a letter sent to the Erie School Board, NCAC and other free expression defenders criticized the district’s decision to ban the book and other materials endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). In doing so, the letter says, it acquiesced to religiously-motivated complaints by some parents at the expense of the rest of the community.
“As obvious as this may sound at first, the 28th annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, which concluded Sunday afternoon and drew an estimated 130,000 attendees and 200 authors to the South Loop on a sweltering, cloudless weekend, was not the kind of thing you could call up on a Kindle. It’s a telling paradox about book fairs: Even as the publishing industry marches toward a digital future, festivals like Printers Row, Washington’s National Book Festival (Sept. 22-23) and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (every April) continue to be large, bustling reminders of how much of the publishing world is still tangible — defiantly so.
via Chicago Tribune
“Patricia Polacco, whose children’s book In Our Mothers’ House got bounced from a Davis County elementary school library shelf to “behind the counter,” wants to make one thing clear: The book did not belong in the kindergarten-third grade section.
Rather, she says, it should have been on the fourth-grade-and-up shelves, where curious kids might read it and spark a good discussion with their families at the dining room table.”
“This evening, Facebook is launching its new App Center to help its 901 million members discover high quality social apps for the web and mobile. Goodreads is one of the apps participating in the launch event, and the new App Center will serve as another way for people to discover our app.
What makes the Goodreads team particularly proud is that the Facebook App Center only lists high quality apps that rate well on key signals such as highest customer ratings and frequency of user shares. The Goodreads App, with an average 4.5 star rating (out of 5) is clearly winning many fans.”
Courthouse News – “Texas corrections facilities did not violate the First Amendment by banning certain books that graphically describe rape, child abuse and race relations in the prison system, the 5th Circuit ruled. Prison Legal News, a nonprofit advocate of inmate rights, filed suit over five books banned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), under a book-review policy that the parties agree is constitutional. TDCJ has approved about 80,000 of more than 92,000 books sent to its inmates, according to database records.”