Check Your Shelf

Never Call It A Book Ban

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I was in quarantine all last weekend, but I did get to come out of the bedroom (masked) to watch Adam Driver’s fourth hosting stint on SNL, and what a highlight it was! The Internet has been losing it over his skit as a baby on an airplane, but my personal favorite was the Midwestern dad in a passive-aggressive standoff at Christmas dinner. You’ll never hear (or say) “Beep beep” the same way again.

The holidays have arrived, and so has our new paperback level at TBR! If you (or a reader you know) are just over-carrying around bulky hardcovers or are looking for a more budget-friendly option, we’ve got you. Check out all the offerings at, and give personalized reading recommendations customized for any and every reader.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Connecticut officials aim for first-in-the-nation action to address eBook costs.

An audit of the Multnomah County Library system (OR) showed that nearly 75% of frontline library staff feel unsafe at work.

Book Adaptations in the News

Killers of the Flower Moon isn’t for an Indigenous audience. It’s for the wolves.

The new trailer for Dune, Part 2 has just dropped.

Censorship News

Manufacturing problems with school and library books to cash in on solutions.

(Paywalled): The two new members of the Corpus Christi (TX) library board are affiliated with right-wing book banning groups.

The Graham City Council (TX) is considering whether or not to overturn the library board’s decision to retain We Need to Talk About Vaginas: An IMPORTANT Book About Vulvas, Periods, Puberty and Sex!, because a group of pastors complained to the city council.

Alachua County Schools (FL) have 13 active book challenges that were submitted by three parents in the district.

The review committee in Brevard County schools (FL) has recommended that Sold be restricted to high schoolers only.

Broward County Schools (FL) will retain the Bible.

“The New Hampshire Department of Education is heightening its scrutiny of books in libraries and classrooms, as schools continue to face pressure to remove titles that have LGBTQ+ characters or deal with mature or difficult sexual themes.” Yeah, not a good look, New Hampshire.

The newly appointed Central Bucks Board of School Directors, Karen Smith, was sworn into office Monday using a stack of banned books. [PA]

Residents in Worcester County (MD) are up in arms about the book All Boys Aren’t Blue.

A month after Hanover Public Schools (VA) removed 75 books from school libraries, the district is now reviewing two new titles: Valiant Ladies and the Bible.

Moore County Schools and Catawba County Schools (NC) will decide on the fate of their currently challenged books in 2024.

Berkeley County Schools (SC) spent thousands of dollars to purchase copies of several challenged books for a committee to review, and now the committee has been disbanded.

Beaufort County (SC) has finished reviewing all 97 challenged books and has removed five: Beautiful, The Haters, Nineteen Minutes, It Ends With Us, and Forever For a Year.

“Effingham County Commissioners [GA] and Live Oak Public Libraries officials met Monday night to discuss the content of certain books available in the libraries that, said one commissioner, could be ‘damaging to our children.’” Because the county commissioners are more knowledgeable than library employees.

Alabama governor Kay Ivey has proposed new rules that would restrict where libraries can shelve certain books, along with requiring advance approval to recommend, display, or promote material to children. Holy crap.

Last week, I shared a news item that the Foley Public Library (AL) relocated 11 books from the YA section to the adult section. Turns out that all 11 of those books were challenged by just one parent.

1819 News, a right-wing media group in Alabama, has taken it upon themselves to review books in the Orange Beach City school district that they think need to be removed. And the superintendent seems to be just fine with this.

“‘We are not book banners. We just want to have some kind of policy that can either label these books, segregate these books, have parental opt-out options, or in the event that some of them are too graphic—be removed from the schools.’” This is an actual quote from the Chair of the Knox County (TN) chapter of Moms for Liberty.

Wilson County Schools (TN) decided to keep Water for Elephants and The Lovely Bones on high school library shelves.

Sumner County Schools (TN) will retain the graphic novel Hey Kiddo. The parent who challenged the book said that it contained inappropriate language and premarital sex, but the review committee found no depictions of sex in the book.

A group of Iron River (WI) library patrons voiced their support for library employees and urged the board to respect the Constitution. There’s one current board member who has spoken out publicly against LGBTQ+ books available at the library.

The Brown County Library (WI) moved Let’s Talk About It from the teen section (where it belongs) to the adult section.

The Brainerd School Board (MN) will hear an appeal to their decision to retain Empire of Storms.

Superintendent Ryan Walters introduces new non-woke guidelines for Oklahoma libraries, and removes information literacy guidelines put out by ALA.

“‘In a state with the highest rate of domestic violence in the nation and a sexual assault rate that’s 45% higher than the national average, there are going to be students that live this experience and could benefit from seeing themselves represented in literature,’ said a parent.” This was at a recent Union school board meeting in Oklahoma in response to the book Lucky.

A conservative LGBTQ+ group in El Paso County (CO) supports the removal of “obscene” books from school libraries.

Laramie County School District 1 (WY) passed a controversial book policy despite public opposition.

“Dismissing words of caution from Community Library Network directors, a fellow trustee and without advice from library network legal counsel, the board majority unanimously approved drafts of its updated Materials Selection Policy and a new Materials Withdrawal and Reconsideration Policy during a special meeting Thursday at the Post Falls Library.” [ID]

After a failed first attempt to take control of the public library earlier in the year, the Liberty Lake City Council passed an ordinance that would give them some control over the library board’s policies.

“A conservative activist who teaches parents how to get books removed from school libraries has won her first major victory at a right-leaning Southern California school board, setting the district up for a fresh legal battle with the state.” And the first part of her advice to parents is to never use the term “book ban.”

A San Diego parent is “frustrated” that his 14-year-old was assigned The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in class, even though the district says that parents can talk to the teacher to work out an alternate assignment for the student if they so choose. It doesn’t seem like this parent so chose.

Books & Authors in the News

Renowned producer, TV writer, and author Norman Lear has died at 101.

Best-selling author Tim Dorsey died earlier this month at 62.

Debut author Cait Corrain lost a book deal after she was accused of review-bombing other authors on Goodreads.

Numbers & Trends

Jane Austen’s annotated copy of Curiosities of Literature is up for auction and is expected to fetch up to $150,000.

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

The Goodreads Choice Award winners have been announced.

Tyriek White wins the Center for Fiction’s 2023 First Novel Prize for We Are a Haunting.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Books as What We Do in the Shadows quotes. This is a thing of beauty.

On the Riot

How to build seasonal rereading rituals.

black and white cat squished up against a person's leg

Here’s Dini visiting me in Spaceship Quarantine. He absolutely refused to let me close the bedroom door, and honestly, how could you not feel better with such a squishy boy next to you??

All right, friends. It’s the weekend. Let’s get some rest and stay healthy!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.