Tag Archives: American Library Association

Challenged Books

Time to exercise our intellectual freedom and go read some controversial books!

Back in September, I posted the Top 100 Challenged/Banned Books 2000-2007.  Here are some more from the American Library Association. They’ve posted the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2008.

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Anti-Family, Homosexuality, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. “His Dark Materials Trilogy” (Series), Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence

3. “TTYL”; “TTFN”; “L8R, G8R” (Series), Lauren Myracle
Reasons:  Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

4. “Scary Stories” (Series), Alvin Schwartz
Reasons:  Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence

5. “Bless Me, Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons:  Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence

6. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Drugs, Homosexuality, Nudity, Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Suicide, Unsuited to Age Group

7. “Gossip Girl” (Series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons:  Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

8. “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group

9. “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons:  Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

10. “Flashcards of My Life,” by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

Six titles were dropped from the list, including: “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier (challenged for sexually explicit content, offensive language and violence); “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes (for sexually explicit content and offensive language); “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain (for racism); “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker (for homosexuality, sexually explicit content and offensive language); “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou (for sexually explicit content); and “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris (for sexually explicit content).

From their press release … For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Week Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks.

The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

Have you read any of the 2008 Top Ten? What’s your favorite challenged or banned book?

Becky’s ARK, er, ARC

And, lo, it rained librarians and authors and books for forty days and forty nights. Well, actually only three days, but yoiks! It sure seemed like a biblical flood of books and book-related paraphernalia.

The American Library Association’s MidWinter Meeting was held January 23 – 28, 2009 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. I had my camera with me, but I was too bedazzled to take photos. Plus, I would have needed to be on the International Space Station to get it all in the frame. I don’t think my day-pass would have allowed that.

I was an ALA virgin, but proud to say I figured out fairly quickly how to blend in ”” GRAB FREE BOOKS!!! Humiliation at my unbridled avarice didn’t stop me from acting like the biggest glutton at the buffet. After filling a couple of tote bags, I had to undo the top button on my pants.

For those of you who don’t know, ARCs are Advance Reading Copies of soon-to-be or recently released books. They’re given away to people who will read them then create buzz about them before they’re released into the biblioworld.

Look to see some of these titles as First Page Reviews here in BeckyLand, but don’t hold your breath. My “To Be Read” pile is scraping the acoustic stuff off my ceiling.

Something I found fascinating at the ALA … aside from the $10 chicken strips and the sharp elbows of prim librarians … was seeing the booths of the companies trying to sell librarians stuff for their libraries. It’s a huge trade show as well as a meeting for librarians, so there were folks there selling shelving, very cool chairs, and tons of software for libraries. I am a big fan of libraries, having visited many in my lifetime, but have I ever considered how they acquire things like that? Why no, no I have not. Until now.

But now that my library mindosity has expanded, I vow to visit the comfy chairs at every library. Every. Single. Library. But only after I quiz the staff about their spine label printers, their staff and desk scheduling tools, and which database they use for primary source materials from 18th and 19th century publications.

Besides the materials you check out, what’s your favorite thing about the library?