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10 June 2016 @ 07:44 am
SpeakLoudly  
There are some issues, some topics, that are later than this blank page. Censorship is one of them. I have often posted here about censorship, but this week was one that has ignited something a bit different in my reactions to "challenges," "disinvitations," "gatekeeping," and all of the other euphemisms we have begun to see used in lieu of the true word--censorship. I have been thinking about this topic as I drive, as I watch TV, as I do most everyday task. Slowly, I am realizing that this is much more than a blog post. So now it has become a focus for my Nerd Talk next month. This battle over whose words can be shared and when and where and how needs to be fought on all fronts. I applaud Pernille Ripp for her blog post: https://pernillesripp.com. I laud Donalyn Miller for her post on banned books: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/book_whisperer/2009/09/banned_book_week.html.

But I want to take a step back. You see, when you have been in the book business for more than 40 years, you have read all manner of posts and tweets and articles about censorship. And about the only thing that growing old has as a benefit is the fact that I have a vertical file in my brain filled with articles about banning and challenge and censorship and all those things related to eliminating this book, that thought, those opinions.

Today, then, I want to give you some more homework, some more reading to do about this topic. The first piece I thought of once I decided to writ and to speak about censorship was this one: http://irls520paternalcensorship.pbworks.com/f/The+Genteel+Unshelving+by+Richard+Peck.pdf. This is Richard Peck in 1986 writing in School Library Journal about the "genteel unshelving" of a book. Most of you know Peck as an award-winning author. However, I suspect many of you have not read his earlier works including the one referred to in this article, FATHER FIGURE. I urge you to go back and read this and ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? and all of Peck's works ending with his latest, THE BEST MAN (which took much of the conversation my colleague and friend Rosemary Chance and I had over lunch this week).

This is vintage Peck. He knows how to take this topic and lead us through it step by step. How I wish I could do what he has done here. Unfortunately, this flat page is not cooperating fully yet. I hope that by working my thoughts and Peck's and Miller's and Ripp's and others into a talk, I can do it justice. Time will tell.

One of my favorite posts by Donalyn Miller is called, "I've got research, yes I do. I've got research, how about you?" (here is the link: https://bookwhisperer.com/2015/02/08/ive-got-research-yes-i-do-ive-got-research-how-about-you/). Placing research in one place for all to access to terrific. This research is about independent reading. I want to do some of he same for research, but there are organizations who have already but this information out. So, check out these sites.

Start here with the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom: http://www.ala.org/offices/oif. Here are links to all manner of resources.

Go to the National Coalition against Censorship: http://ncac.org. JOIN!

Move on to here: http://www.ncte.org/action/anti-censorship/reports with all manner of information from NCTE.

My former colleague Frank Hoffman wrote a book that compiled an annotated bibliography of articles about censorship: https://books.google.com/books?id=KRc33lCo68MC&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=what+to+do+before+the+censor+comes&source=bl&ots=R_S7exfpkO&sig=5HydBU7q76VBovnYuqMs_EMS43A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXwta1vZ3NAhVELSYKHaTaAd0Q6AEIKTAC#v=onepage&q=what%20to%20do%20before%20the%20censor%20comes&f=false.

Check out the ACLU and definitions of censorship: https://www.aclu.org/what-censorship.

Use quotes from here in your sig file or as bulletin boards or posters: http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/ifissues/issuesrelatedlinks/quotations.

This is a start.
 
 
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