Rabu, 13 Februari 2013

Newbery Medal Book banned!

The Newbery Medal Honor book, "The Power of Lucky" was the subject of a page one article in the February 18, 2007 edition of the Sunday New York Times. The book has caused an uproar because it's 10 year old main character is fascinated by the word "scrotum".

The article reports that a handful of school libraries in the West, South and Northeast will not be stocking it . The American Library Association has issued a statement supporting the book and the rights of families to choose reading for their members. "Decisions about what materials are suitable for particular children should be made by the people who know them best - their parents or guardians. "

Librarians may seem to be nineteenth century "Miss Grundy's" in issues such as this, but I would also consider that this is not wholly about censorship. School libraries should have a Materials Selection Policy which incorporates a procedure for challenges of materials. If the procedure is followed without incident and publicity, all goes well. Unfortunately often times, challenges are followed by a great amount of controversy and publicity. This can translate into a very real lack of support for library budgets that are on the election ballot, and or the dismissal of librarians or teachers.

Sadly, in the real world , most people will not choose controversy or loss of employment in the preservation of intellectual freedom.

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