Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Amer Library Association & censorship


THE QUESTION OF SHOULD

On the American Libraray Association's website is a list of children’s and young adult books that have been challenged in the media and reported to the ALA as containing explicit sexuality, drug use, profanity and LGBT characters. One, described as being “disgusting and all around offensive,” received positive reviews in Newsweek and the NYT.

Most of these books have won prestigious awards, such as the Caldecott Honor Award and National Book Award or been named Stonewall Honor Books and Printz Honor recipients. 

In an introduction to the list, the American Library Association (ALA) notes that “each book was threatened with removal from spaces where diverse ideas and perspectives should be welcomed.” 

The word “should” is the monster that haunts all of us. Who should decide what children should read? The ALA? The government? The media? Parents? 

Will I ever be smart enough to overcome my confusion about should?

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