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Presented by Jamie Caisse and Michele English. SELF-CENSORSHIP. *At your table, discuss for 2 minutes. WHAT DOES “SELF-CENSORSHIP” MEAN TO YOU?. Statement #1.

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presented by jamie caisse and michele english
Presented by

Jamie Caisse


Michele English

statement 1
Statement #1

The Code of Ethics of the American Library Association was designed to dictate how we should handle specific situations that arise.

code of ethics of the american library association continued
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association continued..

DOES contd.

Remind us of our obligation to distinguish between personal convictions and professional duties

Encourage professionalism, and unbiased responses to all requests.

DOES NOT contd.

Support the blocking of access to information

code of ethics of the american library association
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association


Provide a framework for making decisions

Remind us to uphold the principles of intellectual freedom


“Dictate conduct to cover particular situations”

Advocate the support of private interests such as politics

statement 2
Statement # 2

When choosing books for your collection, it is best to stick with books that are considered “safe.”

why do librarians stay in the safe zone
Why do librarians stay in the “safe zone?”

FEAR- we want to avoid controversy and we’re afraid to “make waves”

We cater to the majority of our readers

“We merely give lip-service to the First Amendment.”(Fialkoff, F.,2004)

Budget constraints

statement 3
Statement # 3

It is your responsibility as the librarian to provide books in the collection that will help to expand your readers’ intellectual freedom.

why are individuals willing to uphold the code
Why are individuals willing to uphold the code?

As librarians, and “defenders of intellectual freedom and the public’s right to read.” (Fialkoff,F. 2004)

According to Scales, students shouldn’t be restricted from certain books, they need to be encouraged to think and talk about what they’re reading.

Authors are intent on giving their characters voice, thus making them more authentic.

A book could help a lonely student feel connected

statement 4
Statement # 4

When challenged by a colleague or community member about a specific collection item, it is best to just remove the item.

is it worth the fight
Is it worth the fight?

Would you be willing to stand up to administration when it could mean losing your job or receiving a poor rating?

Removing a book that could benefit a student can be considered a violation of the constitution.

Is it your job as the librarian to be the parent and decide what a student should have access to?

top 10 ways to know you re guilty of self censorship
Top 10 ways to know you’re guilty of “self-censorship”

10. You “accidentally” tear off the cover of the Nintendo Magazine, which displays a graphic of a woman holding a gun!

9. You have waited to see whether other colleagues are purchasing a questionable book before you place your order.

8. According to your database, a book is perpetually checked out, yet it’s never actually left the library.

7. You’ve ever filled your glass display case with books that will never come out of the case.

top ten ways con t
Top Ten ways...(con't)

6. You moved a book titled “Boy Meets Boy” to the Adult literature section, rather than in the Young Adult section where it belongs.

5. You decided not to purchase a new series because the genre doesn’t appeal to you, rather you choose books that you’d like to read.

4. You overlooked a book about a specific minority group because you feel that there aren’t people like that in your community.

top ten ways con t1
Top Ten ways...(con't)

3. You cancelled a magazine subscription after they published an article that you didn’t agree with.

2. You arranged your library to have a section of materials that only some patrons may visit.

1. You made a judgment about a book based on a part taken out of context, rather than looking at the book as a whole.

tips to avoid self censoring
Tips to Avoid Self-Censoring:

Engage in dialogue about intellectual freedom with colleagues

Don’t treat self-censoring as a “dirty little secret”

Visit Social Studies classes and present information to students about the First Amendment

Have a policy in place for choosing books, as well as a vehicle for patrons to request reviews

In a school district, have a thorough understanding of the policies regarding books in the collection

Communicate your responsibilities with regards to book selection to your faculty

something to think about
Something to Think About

“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”

~Katherine Patterson