Banned Books Week Four:

Wow! I notice that Chris Crutcher has linked here with glowing compliments. Thanks! (And for folks not familiar with him, check out some of his letters to people about censorship issues here.)

For folks who might be new over here, I go by Jenett online. I’m a librarian in Minnesota, and I think knowledge is power. This blog is mostly about my religious life and group work, but every year during Banned Books Week, I’ve made a point of posting a series of posts about freedom of information access issues. (And I always do a special focus on religion and freedom of information access issues.)

Please feel free to ask any questions. Just be aware I may be a little slow to get back to you, as I’m on the board for a sizable public community event this weekend, and will be away from my computer much … Continue reading

Banned Books Week 3: Context

Part of my continuing series of posts on Banned Books Week, which calls attention to information access, censorship, and other related issues.

Today, I want to talk about context – in two different ways. One is about what the resource is used for, and the other is what the resource is about.

Use:

I’ve been seeing a trend in recent challenges – a number of recent ones are challenges to a book as a required reading (class assignment), reading list selection (where students pick a book off a list and read it) or a suggest reading list (like over the summer.)

In the first choice, students don’t have much option in the assigned title. In the other two, they do – but you’ve got a few other challenges.

But, at the same time, when you’re teaching it in a class situation, you;ve got a lot of potential opportunities for conversation … Continue reading

Banned Books Week 2: Politics and challenges

I knew, as soon as I started seeing media reports about this, that I wanted to spend at least a little time this year talking about the Sarah Palin censorship related issues – and some other stuff that’s related.

The myth:

As many of you may have seen, there’s been emails flying around about how Sarah Palin tried to challenge a whole big long list of books when she was mayor of Wasila. Except there’s an immediate problem: many of the books on that list weren’t published at the time she was mayor.

I figured this out as soon as I looked at the list: it’s one of the “Top 100 books banned” compilation lists put out by the ALA as part of Banned Books week, and I’ve seen a number of them go by over the years. But Snopes has a nice summary (including relevant quotes), but … Continue reading

Banned Books Week – an overview

Every year the American Library Association (hereafter the ALA) and many public, school, and other libraries, call attention to issues of censorship and freedom of information issues with Banned Books Week. And every year since 2005, I have made a series of posts during this week talking about some of these issues in my LiveJournal. This year is no exception (though because I’m extremely busy this week with Pagan Pride preparation, these posts might stretch into next week.)

For folks who don’t know me in this capacity: I’m a librarian who’s worked at a private high school library since the fall of 2000. I started as a paraprofessional, but finished my Master’s in Library/Information Science degree in the summer of 2007, and have since negotiated some greater job responsibilities. I’m fascinated by the issues of access to information.

I’m also a witch and priestess in a small religious witchcraft tradition … Continue reading

Libraries and filters: a quick guideline

A post on a local list about a library filter blocking the Covenant of the Goddess website got me making a lengthy post about the issues of freedom of information access, libraries, and filters – here’s an introduction to the issues and some specific things Pagans might want to be aware of. Continue reading