Check Your Shelf

Libraries Prepare For More Nonsense

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. The big news in my neck of the woods is that a BEAR (yes, a BEAR) was spotted near a highly-trafficked shopping center about 20 minutes from where I work. They haven’t been able to locate the bear as of Wednesday evening, and no one has a clue where it came from or how it ended up here. This also isn’t the first odd animal to show up in the area over the years…we’ve also had a cougar, a bison, and an alligator make an appearance.

Anyway, don’t forget you can subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

Libraries & Librarians

Cool Library Updates

This nonprofit is making book fairs accessible to underserved students.

California is partnering with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide free books to children ages 0-5, regardless of income.

Worth Reading

Confessions of a bad librarian.

What happens when libraries stop sharing wifi?

Book Adaptations in the News

Lessons in Chemistry gets an October release date.

Cormac McCarthy is writing the film adaptation of his novel, Blood Meridian.

There’s going to be a limited TV adaptation of The Constant Gardener.

Censorship News

Moms for Liberty has officially been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Public libraries need to prepare: Kirk Cameron and the publisher Brave Books are planning a host of public library events on August 5th, and they’re calling on supporters to “pray, sing, and read BRAVE Books and other books of virtue.”

Libraries also need to prepare for another “Hide the Pride” campaign.

Unfurling the book banner lies.

PEN America is tracking educational gag orders.

About half of Republicans oppose book bans.

Drag story hour is controversial, but important. And here’s what a drag story hour ACTUALLY looks like.

Texas bans civics lessons involving student interactions with elected officials.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker asked the public library to remove an LGBTQ-themed reading challenge from the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge after city officials received complaints. Seriously, how spineless can these elected officials get?

The Association of American Publishers (AAP), Penguin Random House, Candlewick Press, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Scholastic Inc., and Simon & Schuster have filed an amicus brief supporting the patrons of the Llano County Library System (TX) in Little vs. Llano County.

Hernando County School Board (FL) banned The Sun and Her Flowers at a marathon eight hour meeting. “The board expected a larger than normal crowd after a school board member reported a teacher to the state for showing a fifth-grade class a Disney movie with a gay character.” Over 600 people attended the meeting.

Orange County (FL) develops a new book challenge policy in line with DeSantis’ new law.

Amanda Gorman appeared on CBS Mornings to talk about her poem being banned in a Miami Lakes (FL) school.

The Livingston (NJ) Township Council has unanimously adopted a resolution affirming the township’s support of the public library and the freedom of all readers to select their own materials.

Two Newtown, Connecticut school board members resign amidst an ongoing book ban controversy.

The Ludlow (MA) School Committee is considering a controversial proposal that was inspired by a similar policy from the Central Bucks School District in Pennsylvania, which is hardly the school district you want to emulate when it comes to addressing challenged books…the ACLU has taken legal action against the district twice in less than a year.

The Virginia Beach School Board has created a proposal that would create a list of “lewd” books in the middle and high schools so that parents can opt their children out.

“The First Amendment prohibits Congress from restricting the right of the press and of individuals to write and speak freely. That has nothing to do with local public libraries where making decisions to exclude or include books is the right of library staff, directors, and boards.” Yeah, that’s…not how the First Amendment works. (From Front Royal, Virginia).

Spotsylvania County (VA) Schools removed 14 different titles over the course of the school year, amounting to a total of 108 individual books.

The Hanover County School Board (VA) isn’t trying to remove 17 books from the district…they’re just “cleaning things up a bit.”

Sold is under fire in Berkeley County (SC) schools.

A growing number of Prattville (AL) residents are pressuring the library to remove LGBTQ books.

ALA’s legal branch, the Freedom to Read Foundation, has joined the coalition of publishers, authors, librarians, and readers in filing a lawsuit against Arkansas Act 372.

Crawford County (AR) faces a federal civil rights lawsuit after relocating the LGBTQ children’s books in the libraries.

“Who gets to decide what can be read by the public? Whose moral code, or level of discomfort with ideas gets to rule everyone else?”

The story of book challenges happening at the Caro Area Public Library (MI).

There has been “mass confusion” after the new Missouri state rule takes effect, which threatens state library funding over “obscene books.”

Beavercreek Schools in Ohio is dealing with a trio of book challenges, while Bellbrook Schools has a challenge lodged against a biology textbook.

Local bigots in Fremont, Nebraska have decided that since they can’t get books removed from the library, they’re going to pressure the library to create new collection development policies that cater to their worldview.

A group in Cheyenne, Wyoming has formed to fight book bans in school libraries.

The Wyoming library board that proposed allowing patrons to assign trigger warnings to books has decided to postpone that vote.

Dozens of citizens attended a recent Douglas County (CO) library board meeting, with attendees in favor of retaining LGBTQ materials outnumbering the opposition 2-1.

The Butte-Silver Bow Public Library (MT) cancels a scheduled trans speaker for fear of punishment under the state’s new anti-drag law. And this is the point of the law all along — it was never “just” about drag.

The Davis School District (UT) has officially banned the Bible after receiving a challenge from a parent, and the Book of Mormon is under review.

Students are rallying behind the Temecula Valley High (CA) drama teacher who assigned Angels in America and is now facing community backlash.

The Roseville High School (CA) student paper is reporting on censorship attempts in the school.

Someone burned a Pride flag at a North Hollywood K-5 school and left it outside the classroom window of a teacher who is trans. The teacher has been removed from the school for their physical safety. This is just abhorrent.

Ketchikan, Alaska city officials will decide whether or not the public library should move a couple of YA nonfiction books to a new location. Please note that these are not librarians making the decision. City officials.

The Mat-Su School Board (AK) received over 300 applicants to sit on a new review committee, but rather than using a random lottery selection (the original plan), each member of the school board will get to hand-pick one person to review over 50 challenged titles. This does not bode well.

Books & Authors in the News

Ada Limón has written a poem that will be engraved on a spacecraft and sent to Europa as part of a mission to uncover information about potential extraterrestrial life. And your name can be included along with the poem!

Numbers & Trends

The best-selling books of the week.

Subscribe to First Edition for interviews, lists, rankings, recommendations, and much more, featuring people who know and love books.

On the Riot

11+ things that U.S. public libraries offer that you might not know about.

A ranking of fictional cats.

How this reader is retraining their shrinking attention span.

Why do we tell stories?

black cat sleeping with a blue and orange plush toy shaped like a monster

Here’s Gilbert snuggling with his favorite toy. Granted, Blaine put it up by his head while he was sleeping, but he reached his paw out and pulled the toy in closer. This cat is so precious, I can’t stand it!

All right, everyone. It’s the weekend. Try to do something nice for yourself, and everyone on the East Coast, I hope you all stay safe from the wildfire fallout!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.