While it would be easy to lose heart, I am, in fact, heartened that the Georgetown Public Library is following all the right steps in this instance. the recent report on censorship in schools from the Texas ACLU indicated that challenges and restrictions are falling in terms of overall numbers. Sadly, I think that is due not to fewer challenges but to gatekeeping: folks who do not even order the books and place them on the shelves for fear of possible challenges. Georgetown PL though, responded to the parental concern by first telling those challenging the books (you did notice the books are about sex, right?) that they had been added to the collection (remember the discussion about SELECTION earlier this week? This is what collection development policies seek to do: add books by selecting them according to a process) using the process in place. Further, when the complainants wondered why the books were not just immediately removed (I mean, come on, I pay taxes, I bought these books), the director informed them that there is a policy for reconsideration of materials that must be followed. Huzzah for Georgetown PL for sticking to policy and not simply restricting the books.
I hope those of you on Twitter and Facebook have seen the postings from ALAN about Intellectual Freedom and censorship. This year ALAN formed a committee on censorship. Chaired by our past president, Wendy Glenn, the committee has developed resources (they are posted at the ALAN web site. If you are a member, you can access them.) and will talk to NCTE and its Standing Committee Against Censorship headed by Releah Lent in November. Since YA is often the target of censorship efforts, we felt it was time to offer assistance to those who might be facing challenges. Thanks to Wendy and her committee, letters of support have gone out in several cases.
Remember to SpeakLoudly this week and always. Keep fighting for the Freadom we need: the freedom to read.