CBLDF’s Education Work in 2015

Defender #1In addition to timely direct assistance and expert legal action, CBLDF maintains a deep, prevention-minded education program that helps fend off censorship crises at the start. We made vast strides in 2015 by launching a quarterly news magazine, publishing dozens of resource items for educators, advancing our coalition efforts in Banned Books Week, Children’s Book Week, and Kids’ Right to Read Project, and much more. Take a look at the top education items CBLDF performed this year thanks to the help of the Gaiman Foundation and members like you!

CBLDF Defender — CBLDF’s free quarterly news magazine launched this year, with each issue offering news, detailed anti-censorship resources, and illuminating features about the current and historical state of censorship and comics.  All four issues are available to read in the link above.

CBLDF Comics Connector — We launched this free directory resource connecting comics professionals with classrooms and libraries for visits in 2015.  More than 100 creators are signed up in 24 states and provinces, with more to come.

Comic Book Club Handbook — Designed for libraries, retailers, and individuals, this handbook goes inside the how’s and why’s of creating a graphic novel book club. The handbook offers proven strategies for getting started, selecting books, engaging the community, managing discussions, and much more.

Banned Books Week — CBLDF continued our sponsorship of the celebration of the freedom to read, which this year centered on the topic of YA books.  The link above showcases CBLDF’s resources, including our Banned Books Week Handbook, shelf talkers, posters, and other printables to help libraries, retailers and individuals celebrate the week.

Women Who Changed Free Expression — During Women’s History Month, CBLDF profiled different women creators who have advanced the cause of free expression in comics.  The link takes you to our post assembling all of our month’s entries.

CBLDF Discussion Guides — Profiling more than a dozen challenged graphic novels, these discussion guides are designed for librarians and educators, or anyone who wants to lead a conversation about graphic novels. For each book, the guide includes: synopsis, themes, reasons challenged, suggested age range, discussion questions and activities. CBLDF will expand this project in the new year.

Using Graphic Novels in Education — This ongoing feature is designed for teachers to allay confusion around the content of graphic novels and to help parents and teachers raise readers. 29 of these detailed columns have been published so far, each providing teaching strategies for each selection.

Adding Graphic Novels to Your Library or Classroom Collection — This ongoing feature from CBLDF provides specific resources for librarians and educators who may need to justify and defend the inclusion of the book in library and classroom collections. Each column provides specific information about the book or series, including a summary of challenges it has faced, reviews, praise, awards and other recognitions, and additional CBLDF resources that educators and librarians can provide to their administrators when they want to add the book to their collections. Titles are added as challenges occur.

Free Comic Book Day — Defend Comics is our annual book Free Comic Book Day publication, designed to introduce young readers to comics and free expression. 

Children’s Book Week — CBLDF partnered with the Children’s Book Council and Diamond Comic Distributors to develop a comics focus during Children’s Book Week, the nation’s longest running celebration of reading for young people.  Together, we positioned Free Comic Book Day as the national kick-off for the week.

Kids Right to Read Project — CBLDF continues our sponsorship of the Kids Right to Read Project, which helps us monitor and respond to challenges to books of all kinds when they occur in schools across the country. More than two dozen challenges occurred in 2015 that we were able to respond to in a rapid fashion, often producing a positive result.

Lectures and Workshops — CBLDF’s robust schedule of public events include lectures and workshops all over the United States and the world. This year we presented 35 public presentations on topics including banned books, diversity, using comics in libraries, current censorship, global censorship of comics, and the history of comics censorship.