Check Your Shelf

“We’re Preparing For a Long Battle”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. It’s been so easy to get caught up in the soul-crushing weight of stress and ennui lately that I’m trying to find tiny little things to appreciate/enjoy each day. My pessimistic side is very confused by this, and I’m not sure if it’s working yet…but today, I’m wearing one of my favorite warm sweaters, and our Board approved for us to close early the day before Thanksgiving. So I got that going for me!

Also, if you or someone you know is looking for employment opportunities, Book Riot is hiring for an Advertising Sales Manager! Do you like books and comics? Does helping advertisers reach an enthusiastic community of book and comics lovers intrigue you? This might be your job. You can apply by December 5, 2021.

Okay, let’s library. (And get yourself a couple pieces of chocolate as you move through the Banned/Challenged Books section…it’s a long one.)

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

The Denton (TX) Public Library cancels its Rainbow Story Time due to safety concerns from community backlash.

New temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program could impact librarians with student loans.

Hawaii libraries seek security upgrades following a Covid pandemic crime wave.

The Spokane Public Library closed all branches last weekend after getting “concerning threats” on social media.

The Library of Congress is replacing its “aliens” and “illegal aliens” subject headings with “noncitizens” and “illegal immigration.”

Cool Library Updates

DeKalb (IL) Township has elected to cover the cost of library cards for all of its unincorporated residents. (Speaking as someone who works at an IL library with a lot of unincorporated residents, this is really cool.)

The soul of San Francisco rides on in this pedal-powered library.

The Eden Prairie (MN) Puzzle Library is the first of its kind.

Nemo the fish, who previously resided at the Domonkas Branch Library in Ohio, now lives at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, where he will be a part of the hospital’s mobile aquarium therapy program.

Worth Reading

The Library of Congress subject heading change doesn’t address the real issue.

In praise of Nancy Pearl.

Your trash for our books: Indonesian library creates literacy from litter.

Here are a few funny library tweets that’ll hit you in your soul with their accuracy.

Book Adaptations in the News

Jon M. Chu, the director of Crazy Rich Asians, will be directing the animated film adaptation of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!.

Jennifer Garner replaces Julia Roberts in The Last Thing He Told Me.

Scholastic’s The Royal Diaries series is being adapted for TV.

Over 25 romance novels by Brenda Johnson have been acquired for film and TV adaptations.

Netflix has secured the rights to Jodi Picoult’s Wish You Were Here.

Casting update for Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

Banned & Challenged Books

When the Anti-CRT movement comes for collections.

The South Carolina Association of School Libraries issued a statement on the censorship happening within the state’s school libraries.

Will Texas repeat a McCarthy-like investigation into what students read in schools?

A group of renowned Texas authors wrote an open letter to Governor Abbott condemning the banned book list issued in the state.

The Virginia Library Association shared two letters that it has sent recently in response to the ongoing censorship efforts.

Two Spotsylvania (VA) school board members advocated for literal book burning.

Related: “Conservatives are just openly endorsing book burning now.”

And: Is book burning only symbolic in 2021?

The Augusta County (VA) Library explains its book challenge and review process.

Parents file a recall petition against the Loudoun County (VA) School Board chair.

Lafayette (LA) libraries elect to keep This Book is Gay in the library, but have moved it to the adult nonfiction section, along with all of the other books in the teen nonfiction collection.

Craighead County Library’s battle against censorship.

The director of the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (AK) has resigned. His resignation letter stated “Until recently, I have always enjoyed my employment at this library.”

The Lindbergh School District (MO) is conducting a review of several challenged books, including Crank, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, The Bluest Eye, All Boys Aren’t Blue, This Book is Gay, and Gender Queer.

Students strike back after Fun Home and All Boys Aren’t Blue were removed from school libraries in Kansas City Northland.

The Goddard School District (KS) reversed its decision to remove nearly 30 books from circulation.

The Indian River County School District (FL) has permanently removed All Boys Aren’t Blue from its library shelves, with 27 other books currently under review.

Flagler County School Board (FL) member Jill Woolbright filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office over an “obscene” book included in school libraries, after the superintendent and board attorney did not share her complaint with the other board members.

Downers Grove (IL) students rally to defend LGBTQ book as the school board hears objections over its content.

Parents speak at the Bristow Board of Education (OK) meeting on graphic reading materials in schools.

Governor McMaster (SC) calls for an investigation into Gender Queer being made available in schools.

In response, Greenville County (SC) schools will evaluate all illustrated novels in their collections.

An Urbandale (IA) parent files a formal complaint over the book Hey, Kiddo.

Books in school libraries remain a hot topic at the Hamilton County (TN) School Board.

A Kutztown (PA) meeting becomes heated over CRT and school library books.

How a Pride Month display evolved into a battle over censorship at the library.

“We’re preparing for a long battle:” Librarians grapple with conservatives’ latest efforts to ban books.

A librarian recommends talking about books, not banning them.

The debate over Gender Queer has become a focus of multiple GOP governor’s races.

Conservatives fight to ban this Black, queer memoir state-by-state.

NPR talked to two students who helped reverse their high school’s book ban.

Author George M. Johnson talks about their book All Boys Aren’t Blue being removed from libraries in at least 8 different states.

The banning of George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue speaks to a tiring history of Black censorship.

Can parents have books banned from school libraries? Usually not.

Parents shouldn’t seek to censor school library books that other parents’ kids might want to read.

Banning books and talks about race in schools won’t erase reality.

A war on books? Conservatives push for audits of school libraries.

Republicans seize on schools as a wedge issue to unite the party.

The danger of the new book-banning brigades.

School board book bans on LGBTQ issues and race are hurting, not helping, students.

Need a laugh? SNL weighed in on the book-banning debacle. (The book banning part starts at 2 minutes, but the previous 2 minutes are also funny.)

Books & Authors in the News

A New York State ethics panel revoked its approval that allowed Andrew Cuomo to write his book, and now he may need to forfeit millions of dollars earned from the publication.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

Numbers & Trends

The lofty goals and short life of the antiracism book club.

The five-second book reviews going viral on TikTok.

Award News

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe wins the Baillie Gifford Prize.

Jesse Sutanto wins the Comedy Women in Print Prize for Dial A for Aunties.

Voting is open for the first round of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2021.

Pop Cultured

LeVar Burton is set to host a new Trivial Pursuit game show.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Two Milwaukee sisters launched the pop-up bookstore La Revo Books to reinvent their community’s relationship with literature.

A new hub for Black books opens in a downtown Lansing smoothie shop.

On the Riot

What’s in the infrastructure bill for libraries?

This Rioter’s workplace joined the fine-free library movement (and here’s what they learned).

How libraries are helping the unhoused.

I was a middle school library volunteer.

Shel Silverstein, country songwriting legend.

The top 15 authors based on Goodreads stats.

Excel-lent ways to use pivot tables to look at your reading habits.

All the bookish announcements from Disney+ Day.

Don’t forget to check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of your favorite books!

Did you make it through the book banning wilderness? Go treat yourself and enjoy the weekend. I’ll catch you all next week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.