Blog Archives

Alamogordo Teachers, Librarian Speak Out On Neverwhere

October 22, 2013
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Alamogordo Teachers, Librarian Speak Out On Neverwhere

With Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere currently suspended from classroom use at Alamogordo (New Mexico) High School, English teachers and the school’s librarian are speaking out to make it clear that the book has not been removed from the library and that they do not agree with the district’s handling of the challenge. In its original shamefully…

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Cannes Winner Based on Graphic Novel Won’t Play in Idaho

October 18, 2013
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Cannes Winner Based on Graphic Novel Won’t Play in Idaho

Idaho residents anxious to see the film Blue is the Warmest Color, the 2013 winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or that is based on a French graphic novel, will likely have to travel out of state or wait for it to become available for home viewing. Because Boise’s sole arthouse theater has a…

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To Kill a Mockingbird Re-banned in Louisiana School District

October 17, 2013
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To Kill a Mockingbird Re-banned in Louisiana School District

After a convoluted series of events spanning at least a decade, the school board in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana last week removed Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird from classrooms throughout the district. After some parents of high school students recently complained that the book contained “offensive language” and “themes…[that] may not be suitable…

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Barefoot Gen Translator Disinvited from Speaking at Japanese School

October 9, 2013
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Barefoot Gen Translator Disinvited from Speaking at Japanese School

A little more than a month after Keiji Nakazawa’s manga classic Barefoot Gen was restored to school libraries in the Japanese city of Matsue, an English-language translator of the series has been abruptly disinvited from speaking at a junior high school in suburban Tokyo, 400 miles away. School officials there obliquely cite “recent circumstances” and…

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Banned Books Week Goes to College

September 27, 2013
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Banned Books Week Goes to College

Hi, CBLDF fans! This week I’m taking a break from writing about censorship and free speech elsewhere to tell you how we recognize Banned Books Week in the university library where I’m a Reference librarian. Now in its 31st year, the annual celebration of the right to read is partly an awareness campaign, but also…

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Melinda Gebbie Discusses Lost Girls, Censorship at Edinburgh Book Fest

September 19, 2013
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Melinda Gebbie Discusses Lost Girls, Censorship at Edinburgh Book Fest

Lost Girls, the unabashedly pornographic update on characters from children’s literature classics as imagined by Melinda Gebbie and Alan Moore, is without a doubt one of the most provocative graphic novels published in recent memory. In recounting the sexual awakenings of Wendy, Dorothy, and Alice, the book features incest, bestiality, a three-way tryst between the…

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Ten Years of CIPA: Free Speech and Library Internet Filters

September 16, 2013
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Ten Years of CIPA: Free Speech and Library Internet Filters

The issue of Internet filtering in school and public libraries has been getting a lot of attention lately, as we mark ten years since the Children’s Internet Protection Act was instituted. Unfortunately, the news is not good: Filtering software remains largely ineffective, underblocking the content it’s actually intended to target while overblocking sites that should…

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Alabama Lawmaker, Board of Ed Members Call for Ban on Bluest Eye

September 5, 2013
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Alabama Lawmaker, Board of Ed Members Call for Ban on Bluest Eye

Only a few months after Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye was challenged in an Adams County, Colorado, school district, an Alabama state senator is calling the book “just completely objectionable” and says that it should be removed from classrooms and school libraries. Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) called for the ban last week, citing references…

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Libraries Remind Parents of Responsibilities

August 29, 2013
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Libraries Remind Parents of Responsibilities

Frequently, when a book or other material is targeted for removal from a public library, it’s because a minor managed to access something that does not meet the approval of his or her parents or guardians. Although most libraries do their utmost to make clear that it’s not the responsibility of their staff to police…

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Barefoot Gen Pulled from Matsue School Libraries

August 20, 2013
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Barefoot Gen Pulled from Matsue School Libraries

Keiji Nakazawa’s internationally renowned manga Barefoot Gen, which depicts wartime atrocities from the perspective of the seven-year-old protagonist, has been pulled from primary and middle school libraries in the Japanese city of Matsue. Citing “portions that warrant consideration as appropriate reading material for children,” school officials have barred students from checking out the manga but…

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