Blog Archives

California School District Reaffirms Support for Teacher Who Read Transgender Books

September 20, 2017
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California School District Reaffirms Support for Teacher Who Read Transgender Books

In front of a standing-room-only crowd of about 500 people, a public charter school system in Rocklin, California reaffirmed this week that a kindergarten teacher’s in-class reading of two transgender-themed picture books was in line with district policy. However, the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools (RAFOS) also promised going forward to “try and notify parents…

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Sonny Liew Declines Singapore Government Grant With Strings Attached

September 19, 2017
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Sonny Liew Declines Singapore Government Grant With Strings Attached

In 2015 just before publication of Sonny Liew’s tour de force graphic history of Singapore, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, the city-state’s National Arts Council suddenly got cold feet and revoked a promised grant due to the book’s “sensitive content.” Two years later Liew’s work is a multiple Eisner-winning international hit, and the…

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ACLU & EFF Challenge Warrantless Border Searches of Electronic Devices

September 14, 2017
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ACLU & EFF Challenge Warrantless Border Searches of Electronic Devices

In response to a skyrocketing rate of warrantless searches of travelers’ smartphones and other electronic devices at U.S. border crossings, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation this week filed a lawsuit challenging the practice as unconstitutional. The plaintiffs are 10 U.S. citizens and one green card holder who have been subjected…

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Submissions Open for International Human Rights Cartoon Award

September 12, 2017
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Submissions Open for International Human Rights Cartoon Award

Exiled Iranian cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani, who was forced to flee his native country when the regime took notice of his work in 2009, has established a new international prize to recognize cartoonists who are speaking out on issues of human rights anywhere in the world. Submissions for the International Human Rights Cartoon Award are open…

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Free Webinar Paves Way for Successful Banned Books Week

September 11, 2017
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Free Webinar Paves Way for Successful Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is only two weeks away! With many libraries across the country in full preparation mode for the annual celebration of the freedom to read during the week of Sept. 24-30, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Public Library Association are teaming up for a webinar to help make the event a…

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Pro-Censorship Library Board Member Removed in Downers Grove

September 8, 2017
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Pro-Censorship Library Board Member Removed in Downers Grove

A library board trustee in Downers Grove, Illinois has been removed by a unanimous vote of the village council after he publicly questioned why library staff should receive training on inclusion and diversity, and further advocated that “young children should not be exposed to [library] materials that may confuse them about their sexual identity.” The…

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Book Burning: A Sordid History of Cultural Erasure

September 7, 2017
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Book Burning: A Sordid History of Cultural Erasure

For as long as books have existed, people have been trying to burn them. Book burning is in the Bible, as some 19th century Los Angeles ministers pointed out in advocating a purge of the public library. In recent times, bonfires of books and other media from video games to Beatles records have been largely…

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Personal Biases Must Not Impede Library Services

September 6, 2017
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Personal Biases Must Not Impede Library Services

Recently a children’s librarian wrote to Pat Scales, School Library Journal’s anti-censorship advice maven, with a workplace dilemma. It seems that a fellow librarian who works on one of their large system’s bookmobiles had requested not to receive any books from either the Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid series for her collection…

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California Parents Protest Kindergarten Read-Aloud of Transgender Books

September 6, 2017
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California Parents Protest Kindergarten Read-Aloud of Transgender Books

A public charter school in Rocklin, California is defending a kindergarten teacher’s choice to read the picture books I Am Jazz and Red: A Crayon’s Story out loud to her students in order to help them understand a classmate’s gender transition. The charter district that includes Rocklin Academy Gateway has already reviewed its policies and…

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Holocaust-Denying Book Vandal Plagues Minnesota Library

September 5, 2017
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Holocaust-Denying Book Vandal Plagues Minnesota Library

One or more determined book vandals is at work in the town of West St. Paul, Minnesota, where staff from the Wentworth Branch of Dakota County Library report that at least five to ten books about the Holocaust have been defaced over the past several years. The public learned of the ongoing problem after a…

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