Speaking truth

As mentioned earlier this week, I spent an hour and a half on Friday talking to the Diversity Club at the school I work at. (Both lunches, so it was different sets of kids, except for a couple who have a free period over lunch.) We had 23 students by the diversity director’s count (plus him, plus the other diversity director, who is not normally based on that campus.) Two boys, the rest girls, and mostly upperclassmen rather than freshmen.

Talking about what we do

On Friday, I’m going to be talking to the Diversity Club at the school I work at – about Wicca, and historical witchcraft. I’ve only got 40 minutes or so, so it’s going to be interesting.

This came about in an interesting way – we’ve got a new Diversity Director this year, and he’s been picking a particular topic to talk about twice a week. At the end of September, he sent out a list of topics, through Oct 31st (which is both a regular meeting and Hallowe’en), with October 31st listed as a time to talk about the Witchcraft hunts, Hallowe’en and Wicca.

I looked at my work email, and wandered down the hallway to volunteer. (I’ve been quietly out at work to people I’m closer to, but haven’t been public about it, and he didn’t know my own religious affiliation.) We had a lovely chat – he has … Continue reading

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