January 28, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Book Censorship News, November 25, 2022

Due to the US holiday this week, the roundup of book censorship news and insights will be shorter than usual.

Although there are several right-wing groups striving to introduce film-style book ratings for library titles, the reality is that book rating systems are an exercise in futility and bias. Julia Rittenberg does an excellent job explaining why book rating systems wouldn’t work and I also recommend watching a recent episode of the You’re Wrong About podcast which explores the history of the film rating system and how easily it can be bought and subverted. and it was problematic. After reading and listening to these two deep dives into the challenges of book rating systems, be sure to read Richard Price’s thoughts on ratings.

The fact is, books have rating systems. They are categorized and books for young people are assigned age groups for recommended audiences. But beyond that, it’s every caregiver’s responsibility to know what their children — and only their children — are reading and to talk to them about what they can and can’t access.

Following yet another hate crime committed this week against queer people all enjoying their weekend at a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we want to remind you that there’s a fine line between bigotry towards books and the murder of innocent LGBTQ+ people -people there.

This isn’t about the books, nor has it ever been.

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Book censorship news: November 25, 2022

A city in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania plans to cut its library funding because it “does not reflect the city’s conservative values.” Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Without a source of funding, the Patmos Public Library (MI), whose millage installments were rejected in two elections because 4 (FOUR!) queer books were contested, will close in September 2024. Owasso Public Schools (OK) removed all 3,000 of their graphic novels “for review” following ONE parental complaint. A number of books were apparently pulled from the shelves and others kept “under lock and key” in the Spartanburg (SC) public libraries. What they are or why they were removed are some key elements missing from this coverage. “St. Mary’s City Commission [KS] threatens the existence of a public library just because it stocks Gino’s book.” Here we are. The ACLU is investigating bathroom and book bans implemented last week in the independent school districts of Keller and Frisco (TX). These are very blatant civil rights abuses promoted by extremists in these bodies. The Hempfield Area School District (PA) will continue to argue over book challenges and buying guidelines next week. The Kapaa Public Library (HI) has a challenge about the book Let’s Talk About It. How It All Blew Up will remain on the shelves at Willard Public Schools (MO). They recently removed Oryx and Crake. A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart will remain on shelves at Hendersonville Schools (TN). It was originally contested because it related to Black Lives Matter. “To suggest that the Millard School District librarians [UT]”To stock libraries with material harmful to children, even negligently, is nothing short of an insult,” she told the board. “Make no mistake. When we denigrate the books chosen, we denigrate the people who chose those books. In a district with no bookstores and where a large proportion of parents cannot afford to pay for their children’s lunches, much less because to buy additional books, removing a book from the school library effectively denies children and their parents the choice to read it.” “ This article explains well that the movement to ban books – and the indictment being prosecuted in this District of led by a person who doesn’t even have children in it – is political and not about child protection at all The Idaho Liberty Dogs have been hounding the Meridian Public Library (ID) and this week the trustees and staff have reiterated that that they have no right to deprive others of First Amendment rights The Carroll Community School District (IA) met Monday to review 10 books n that have been contested in the district. According to the meeting update, only one book was actually discussed and Sold will remain available in the library. Surprise, surprise: The list of books brought up for review in Beaufort County, South Carolina came from a local conservative politician … who took the same titles from Moms For Liberty, which filed just minutes later. However, the author might stop giving legitimacy to the hate group. Salvage The Bones faces a challenge at Guilford County Schools (NC). “A group of Van Meter [IA] Parents have petitioned asking the district to eliminate the curriculum that introduces LGBTQ+ issues into the classroom.” I guess if you never mention queer people, they just won’t exist. LGBTQ+ books have come under fire at the Parkersburg Public Library (WV), although the city council, which heard the complaints, took no action. My Book, Plus 300+ Others, Is Banned in Missouri: Book Censorship News, November 18, 2022 There Are Not Two Sides to the Holocaust: Book Censorship News, November 11, 2022 Book Banners are Weaponizing Legitimate Resources: Book Censorship News, October October 28, 2022 Republicans propose federal ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law: Book Censorship News, October 21, 2022 What is a Book Sanctuary?: Book Censorship News, October 14, 2022 Book banners insist on not banning books: Book Censorship News, October 7, 2022 October 2022 Who’s Skipping “Parent Rights” Groups: Book Censorship News, September 30, 2022 Who Are the Groups Banning Books Near You?: Book Censorship News, September 23, 2022 A List of Actions for Banned Books Week: News on book censorship, September 16, 2022