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.
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.
Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club (based on works by Christopher Pike) will debut on Netflix some time this year.
Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!
Banned & Challenged Books
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”
Book banning was a hot topic at the Iredell-Statesville School Board (NC) meeting.
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 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.
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.
Book bans are the new front in the culture wars. What’s really going on?
The endless struggle between censorship and free speech.
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.
The National Book Critics Circle Award winners have been announced.
Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous
On the Riot
A mood reader’s misadventures with library holds.
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.
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.
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.