Check Your Shelf

Misadventures With Library Holds

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week really did not start out on a good note, but things seem to be on an upswing. I’m writing this newsletter on a Wednesday and don’t yet have the ability to see the future, but hopefully we’ll be doing all right by the time you read this on Friday. (If not, just know I’m going to have a stiff drink with my name on it as soon as the work week ends.)

Libraries & Librarians

Cool Library Updates

New Hampshire librarians learn how to lead community conversations that go beyond the book.

VR job training has been launched at the Clayton County Library System in Georgia.

Libraries launch a VR tool designed to support teen mental health.

Worth Reading

Significant policy differences were on display at the ImagineIF (MT) library board retreat. This is an illustration of the types of fundamental philosophy differences we’re seeing in general between library staff and library boards, and it’s troubling.

When to say yes (or no) to new work projects.

Book Adaptations in the News

Osprey Productions signs a first-look deal with Sourcebooks.

Dolly Parton will star in the upcoming adaptation of Run, Rose, Run.

Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club (based on works by Christopher Pike) will debut on Netflix some time this year.

Meg Ryan will direct Netflix’s adaptation of A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by Sally Franson.

Ben Stiller is in talks to star as Jack Torrance in the stage adaptation of The Shining.

Casting updates for The Changeling, Mayfair Witches, and The Man in My Basement.

HBO released the first teaser trailer for The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Take a look at the first trailer for Where the Crawdads Sing.

17 hot books headed to the screen.

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

Banned & Challenged Books

What are obscenity laws?

Hero syndrome in book banning efforts.

PEN America receives $500,000 to fight book bans.

Texas students protest proposed book bans at the state capitol.

A Llano County (TX) librarian loses her job after refusing to comply with orders to remove books from the shelves.

Granbury ISD (TX) announced that they are permanently removing 8 books, including Out of Darkness, This Book is Gay, and We Are the Ants.

The North East ISD (TX) released a list of books updated or replaced after the governor’s call to review materials for “age appropriate” content.

After being questioned about the content of 17 books in the Kerrville ISD (TX) libraries, the superintendent issued a statement saying that they had immediately removed the requested books for review.

How Texas’s school censorship law is impacting classrooms.

All of the graphic novels Texas representative Matt Krause doesn’t want students to read.

Here’s what Texas Republicans had to say when asked to define “pornography.”

A committee denied the request to remove a documentary about a gay man from the Lafayette Parish Library (LA).

Is the Lafayette Parish Library self-censoring books and movies, or keeping them on the shelves?

How censorship came to Lafayette.

A bill banning “obscene” books from public school libraries passes the Oklahoma Senate.

Hamilton County (TN) book review committee members make recommendations for potential policy changes for the selection of instructional materials. One committee member cited their Christian religious views as a reason for removing multiple titles from the curriculum.

An “age appropriate” school library bill heads to the Tennessee governor’s desk.

The Kentucky Senate has taken action to give local county governments more control over community library boards.

An upcoming Family Literacy Night at Huntington East Middle School (WV) will explore banned books.

Ohio County Schools has decided to keep all of its challenged curriculum materials, but with some modifications, such as shelving some of the books on higher shelves that only the teacher can reach. (Spoiler alert…that’s still censorship.)

A controversial Ohio education bill goes beyond the classroom.

The Hempfield school board (PA) has decided not to move forward with any changes to its existing review policy.

Request for information on West Chester (PA) LGBTQ students raises concerns. I simply don’t have words to describe how awful this type of request is.

The Elizabethtown (PA) school board discussed an “opt-in” system for controversial books at their latest meeting.

The Keystone School District (PA) has been asked to remove 17 books from its libraries.

The Central Bucks School District (PA) received pushback from a small group of parents who said that the school libraries are distributing “pornographic” materials, such as The Bluest Eye.

Book defenders and detractors take the floor as the Delaware County High School board (PA) grapples with the lack of a high school librarian.

The smallest library in Maine is on a mission to bring banned books to its community.

It’s not just schools and public libraries: New England prisons ban thousands of books.

Should banning books be up to Stamford (CT) school board members?

The Bedford County School Board (VA) has decided not to remove any of the 12 previously challenged titles.

The Rockingham County School Board (VA) discussed the district’s review policy, although no changes were voted on.

The Oley Valley School Board (VA) heard pushback from parents regarding The Perks of Being a Wallflower being assigned to freshmen. Community members speaking out against school materials have also reported being harassed, so the School Board will now have a police officer stationed at each future meeting.

Forsyth County Schools (GA) are planning to change their book challenge policy in the upcoming school year.

Florida’s recent bill makes it easier to ban school books, although the GOP swears it’s “transparency.”

The book banning Wentzville (MO) mob gets uglier.

Book banning was a hot topic at the Iredell-Statesville School Board (NC) meeting.

A North Carolina school board voted to keep Melissa (formerly George) on library shelves, although opponents say that they will challenge the decision.

The Wake County (NC) Public Library makes it harder to ban books.

The Ridgeland Public Library (MS) is closer to restoring its library services contract after the mayor withheld crucial funding.

A group of about a dozen people prayed for the Jonesboro Craighead County Public Library (AR), in the hopes that the library would move contested materials from the children’s section to the adult section.

The Arizona GOP wants books like The Canterbury Tales banned from schools.

The superintendent, two board members, and a teacher resigned from the ROWVA school district (IL). The two board members were the only ones who voted against removing The Hate U Give from classrooms earlier in the year.

The Cadott school district (WI) considers removing several books from the shelves, including Melissa (formerly George) and Protest Movements: Then and Now.

The Cedarburg School District (WI) reconsiders its use of The Kite Runner as an assigned text in high school classrooms.

Mein Kampf was challenged at the Haliburton County Public Library in Ontario, with the suggestion that the library replace it with a recently published annotated version. However, the library was unable to find a copy of the annotated version in English, and so the book remains off the shelf.

The insidious rise of soft censorship.

How social media is shaping book ban debates.

Book bans are the new front in the culture wars. What’s really going on?

The endless struggle between censorship and free speech.

The political benefit of book bans.

Book bans and the threat of censorship rev up political activism in the suburbs.

Books & Authors in the News

A Judy Blume documentary is in the works at Amazon.

Dr. Seuss made more money than ever before after pulling racist books. Here’s how the CEO did it.

Award News

The National Book Critics Circle Award winners have been announced.

Colm Tóibín wins the Rathbones Folio Prize for The Magician.

The Carnegie Medal Prize, the Dublin Literary Award, and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlists have been announced.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Has COVID changed how kids read?

On the Riot

A mood reader’s misadventures with library holds.

The unimportance of BookTwitter.

To club or not to club? The benefits of reading alone.

How to choose your favorite books when choosing favorites feels unnatural.

When it becomes work: reading for review isn’t reading for pleasure.

Are novelizations worth reading?

6 tips for reading about tough topics.

This Rioter didn’t read for week. (Well, almost.) Here’s what happened.

An in-depth guide to book sizes.

10 creative band names that reference literature.

a photo of a black and white cat on its side with front paws extended

Dini loves you THIS much! (Actually, you wouldn’t want to hug him when he gets like this…he has sharp claws and likes to grab onto anything within paw’s reach.) But he’s so damn cute!

All right, let’s take a breather this weekend. I’ll see you all on Tuesday.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh.