Friday, June 24, 2005

To Censor or Not to Censor at the School Library

To Censor or Not to Censor at the School Library. This article is by Qianli Hu. It appeared in Chinese Librarianship, Issue No. 17 (June 1, 2004).

From the site:

A recent article in New York Teacher by Clarisse Butler “Defending the Right to Read: Librarians, [and] Teachers Navigate the Chilly Waters of Censorship”[1] reported Barbara Searle’s successful story of defending Rudolfo Anaya's book Bless Me, Ultima by enlisting the support from the New York State United Teachers, the National Council of Teachers of English, and members of a Youth Against Racism Group, and by following the district protocol. Butler’s article also cited how Fran Aveta successfully kept the Junie B. Jones series in her elementary school library and revealed what the role the union could play in fighting against censorship.

However, every coin has two sides. Censorship should not be a taboo in librarianship. We should guard against the government’s efforts to encroach on citizens’ freedom to read. On the other hand, school students do need guidance as to what is appropriate to read and parents’ roles in teaching and book selection should not be ignored.

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