I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Banned Books Week, and last week, I wrote about my unease in a post for AASL’s Knowledge Quest blog. In fact, that’s why I chose it as this month’s topic: I always wrestle with these issues, and I need more resources. So, in addition to the Q&A about how to start conversations with librarian colleagues that's linked in my post, here are the results of our survey and some resources from our own Iowa colleagues.
The results--and some resources
- 80% of respondents said they usually create displays, and if you want to join the fun, Pinterest is a great source of display ideas.
- Katy Kauffman, from Southview Middle School in Ankeny, sent this email to her staff early last week in preparation for a display that features pictures of teachers reading books that have been banned or challenged. I’m going to riff on Katy’s great idea by having a display that includes reasons plus teacher/student quotes under the headline “For every book there’s a reader and for every reader there’s a book” (to paraphrase Ranganathan’s five laws of librarianship).
- Want to join the 15.6% who are reviewing their policies with administrators? The ALA has some helpful resources to help you think through your selection policies. If you still have questions, I’ve done a lot of policy-reading in the past couple years, and I’d be happy to look at your policies with you!
- Evie Milbrandt from Turkey Valley includes a simple provocative question on her bulletin board: What if...someone took away my right to read?
- One Iowa school librarian includes this resource in her library to encourage her students to be their own book selectors, and another points to this gorgeous poster based on The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennec, illustrated by Quentin Blake. (Note: I can’t verify whether this poster is printable or not, so proceed with caution.) Another of our Iowa colleagues folds a discussion of intellectual freedom into her lessons about copyright and plagiarism.
You can also register for a free webinar entitled “How to Protect the Freedom to Read in Your Library.” I’ll be one of three presenters sharing our experiences planning for and wrestling with the complex issues that Banned Books Week raises. Join the webinar live on Tuesday, September 29 at 11AM central time, or register above and you’ll be send the links and materials afterwards! Please join us! I would love to see familiar names on the attendees list, and I know it will be a great chance to hear others’ stories and join in an informal Q&A.
Thanks for all your ideas, and have a great Freedom to Read/Banned Books Week!