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Censorship. Censorship Presentation Overview. Censorship in the American Public Library:. A History. 1876 –1939: ALA to Library Bill of Rights. Three stages of censorship Populist-Elitist Neutrality-Advocacy Freedom-Censorship Multiple Ways to Censor Limited ALA involvement World War I

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  1. Censorship

  2. CensorshipPresentation Overview

  3. Censorship in theAmerican Public Library: A History

  4. 1876–1939: ALA to Library Bill of Rights • Three stages of censorship • Populist-Elitist • Neutrality-Advocacy • Freedom-Censorship • Multiple Ways to Censor • Limited ALA involvement • World War I • “One of the most reprehensible periods of U.S. library history, inasmuch as public librarians put service to the state before democratic principles—censoring German-language material and pacifistic and antiwar literature.” -de la Peña McCook, 2004

  5. 1939–1969: Library Bill of Rights to Intellectual Freedom Activism • Martin v City of Struthers (1943): Freedom of Speech applies to distribution and receipt of information • Causes of Censorship • Nationalist political climate in pre-Cold War era • Racial and ethnic prejudice • 1950’s see a shift from censoring the subversive to censoring the obscene • Creation of the IFC • ALA’s stance on IF gains national recognition • Freedom to Read Foundation

  6. 1953: The Perfect Storm • February—April: Senator McCarthy calls for censorship in overseas libraries • May 2–3: Freedom to Read Statement is Written • June 14: President Eisenhower speaks out against censorship • June 20–21: IFC holds conference “Book Selection in Defense of Freedom” • June 22: ALA membership votes to adopt Freedom to Read Statement • June 25: ALA Council adopts resolution against censorship in overseas libraries • November: American Library Association Bulletin sends out the “Intellectual Freedom Issue”

  7. 1966–1975: Some Overlap • Political and social factors influencing censorship • Vietnam War • Civil Rights Movement, racial unrest • Pressure for U.S. educational system to keep up with the U.S.S.R. • 110 censorship attempts reported in public libraries

  8. 1975–2000: ??? • 1977: Prince George’s County, Maryland • The Coalition for Children takes on Our Bodies, Ourselves • Proposed a bill that would make it illegal for juveniles to check out books with sexual content • A search on Wilson Web for articles from 1970–2000 turns up no articles from the 70’s, only one from the 80’s, 16 from the 90’s, and 35 from the 00’s

  9. The New Millenium • Homosexuality is just one of many reasons people challenge or ban books • Groton, CT, 2002: An exhibit at the public library showing pictures of local families, including families with same sex parents, prompted a local resident to take out an ad in the local paper protesting the exhibit • Hillsborough County, FL, 2005: A public library YA display celebrating Gay and Lesbian Pride Month put together by a library school student eventually led county commissioners to ban all events celebrating gay pride in the county

  10. Statements, Policies, and Advocates • Library Bill of Rights • Adopted in 1939 • Statement on Labeling • Adopted in 1951 • Defined labeling as a form of censorship • Freedom to Read Statement • Adopted in 1953 • Affirms 7 propositions • Code of Ethics • Section II reinforces the ALA’s commitment to Intellectual Freedom

  11. Statements, Policies, and Advocates • Intellectual Freedom Committee • Works in an advisory capacity for the OIF • Under David K. Berninghausen, obtained permission to represent ALA at hearings and to protest violations of the Library Bill of Rights and also launched the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom • Office for Intellectual Freedom • Established in 1967 with Mrs. Judith F. Krug as Director • Responsible for implementing ALA IF policies • Intellectual Freedom Round Table • Begun in 1973 • “serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters” and “promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom” (ALA, 2007)

  12. Censorship in Public Libraries and Schools: Reasons for Censorship

  13. It’s not Pro-Censorship, it’s • Pro-Families • Pro-Values • Pro-Children

  14. Censorship vs. Selection • Government • Pornography • Government Documents • Profanity • Individual Groups • Parents • Religious Organizations • Media • Fox News vs. The Nation • Libraries • “R” rated movies

  15. Why Censor? • Tax Money • Libraries are community spaces • Protect Children • Alternatives

  16. Main Reasons Books are Censored • Profanity • Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger • Sexual Reference • Forever by Judy Blume • Sexual Preference • And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell • Defying Authority • Matilda by Roald Dahl

  17. Motivating Factors for Censorship • Family Values • Religious Views • Political Views

  18. “Bad is not for us to determine. Bad is what you determine is bad. Bad is what you think is bad for your child.” http://pabbis.org/

  19. Guidelines for recognizing “Bad” Books www.pabbis.org • Age Appropriate • Good Taste • Educational Objectives • Relevance • Necessity

  20. What to do??http://www.pabbis.com/whattodo.html • Give Up • Switch Schools • Monitor What your Child Reads • Challenge the Use of the Book • Change the System

  21. How To Challenge a Book • Talk to the library or school • Present your objections • Ask Questions • Continue up the ladder • Talk to other parents

  22. SystemChanges • Book Selection Process • Parents Notification

  23. Family Friendly Standards for Public Libraries http://www.fflibraries.org/Public_Library_Standards.html • Internet Filtering Software • Minors Borrowing Records • Option to Limit Borrowing Privileges • A  Parent Preview Section • Local Community Decency Standards. • Material Placement in the Library. • Promotional Displays

  24. Opposing Censorship

  25. CENSORSHIP American Library Association’s stance on censorship Where censorship originates How can I receive help with challenges? Advocacy

  26. Library Bill of Rights III. “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”

  27. Where do most challenges come from? Individuals


  29. Where do most challenges occur? Institutions



  32. KEYMESSAGES • Libraries provide access to information across a wide variety of economic, political, and social views • Libraries provide freedom to information for all peoples. • Parents are responsible for their children!

  33. ALA website also has information for coping with challenges for: • School librarians • Young adult librarians • Trustees and directors

  34. COMMUNITY ADVOCACY • Keep abreast of issues in legislature, schools, and local government

  35. PROFESSIONAL ADVOCACY • Join ALA's IF Roundtable or Action Network • Make your libraries stance on censorship part of the library's central mission • Advocate your library as being a place for FREEDOM!

  36. Web Resources Provide Outlets for Activism • National Coalition Against Censorship • http://www.ncac.org/home.cfm • Kidspeak • http://www.kidspeakonline.org/index.html • National Council of Teachers of English • http://www.ncte.org/about/issues/censorship

  37. Censorship An Overview of Materials Available

  38. Three Place to Start • Google • 23 million hits • UT Library Catalog • 741 Library of Congress Subject Headings • Library Literature and Information Science Full Text • 2,218 articles

  39. Google 23 million hits

  40. Wikipedia • First hit on google search “censorship” • Main article 2,695 words • Organized into Aspects of, Implementation of, by Country, Media, Other Types • Links to articles on Censorship in 31 countries, 8 different types of media, 13 methods, and 2 TV channels (BBC and MTV)

  41. Wikipedia • Within text of article, links to Watergate scandal, media bias, Josef Stalin, Frank Zappa, freedom of speech, obscenity • Special links for banned books, films, and music and for criticisms of Wikipedia • Extensive “See Also” section - 51 related topics

  42. Wikipedia • 7 citations and notes to the article • 14 outside print resources for general information • 14 outside websites

  43. Outside Text Resources • Battle of the Books: Literary Censorship in the Public Schools, 1950-1985 by Lee Burress • Intellectual Freedom and Censorship: An Annotated Bibliography by Frank Hoffmann

  44. Outside Online Resources • The National Coalition Against Censorship • www.ncac.org • Banned Magazine: The Journal of Censorship and Secrecy • www.bannedmagazine.com • Link to 1990 audio interview with William Noble, author of Bookbanning in America • http://wiredforbooks.org/williamnoble/

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