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

New pages!

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I got an email asking me about book suggestions. This turned out to be a surprisingly good motivator to get something done I’d been meaning to do for several months, which was to actually write up commentary on books I’d generally recommend.

There are four pages:

  • Book Suggestions talks about how I approach the whole process. Go read it first.
  • Books: Introductory Works highlights the intro books I think are generally solid starting points (but read more than one! Read many! You get better perspective that way.)
  • Books with more details covers those books that go deeper into a particular topic.
  • Other books worth reading includes those books which have other specific merits (and includes relevant fiction.)

I’ve added these links to the index page, as well.