(TW: gun violence, mass shooting) On Monday morning, a shooter opened fire onto the 4th of July parade spectators in Highland Park, Illinois. I was walking in a different 4th of July parade for my library, but we were in such close proximity to Highland Park that our parade ended early and everyone was told to evacuate the downtown area. I knew there had been a shooting close by, but I didn’t know anything else as I hurried a quarter mile back to my car, texting my husband about what was happening and why I was coming home early. We’ve read so many news reports of mass shootings, but nothing prepares you for when it happens in your own backyard. I don’t know how to process it. I came home and cried, but since then I’ve been in a daze trying to avoid the news. I had already taken a couple days off from work for my birthday, but how the hell do you celebrate your birthday when it takes place the day after a mass shooting 20 minutes away from your home? I had friends at that parade, one of whom was literally across the street from the first shots. But as one of my coworkers said, this could just as easily have been the town we work in. I have never felt less safe in my life, and as I write this, I’m about to go back to work tomorrow and face patrons who are undoubtedly going to want to talk about what happened. I feel like I’m in a state of half shock, half denial at a time when it feels like every element of my well-being has been upended. I don’t have any kind of a conclusion to this intro, other than I don’t have any idea how I’m supposed to concentrate at work tomorrow.
If any of you readers live or work in the area, I’m sending all the virtual hugs I can, and I’m taking any virtual hugs people may want to send.
Libraries & Librarians
More updates from the Anchorage Public Library’s wrongful termination lawsuit.
Supporting your team’s mental health after a violent news event. (This is a good article.)
How to “cheat” at professional development.
Canva tips and tricks.
Book Adaptations in the News
The Duffer Brothers are working with Netflix on several new projects, including an adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s novel, The Talisman.
The CW has canceled the Nancy Drew spinoff series, Tom Swift, after one season.
Neil Gaiman defends the “color-blind casting” for the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman.
The Time Traveler’s Wife has been canceled after only one season.
Peacock cancels the adaptation of Jade City, which had been in development for years.
A Beauty & the Beast hybrid live-action/animated special is set to air on ABC.
The best Jane Austen adaptations to watch before the release of Persuasion.
Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!
Banned & Challenged Books
How to directly impact democracy: a look at the process of being an election judge.
A roundup of library censorship stories from Pride Month.
Stand up to bullies and put your (collection) money where your mouth is.
The Austin Public Library has partnered with local bookseller BookPeople to offer a summer-long event series called Banned Camp.
A group of right wing citizens in Prosper, Texas contacted police and demanded that the Prosper ISD remove 82 books. The article though takes a longer look at the contentious board elections happening across the country, as well as the way these debates affect the schools and the communities.
This is an oddly positive article about the Granbury ISD (TX) hiring a district-level librarian supervisor, which yeah, is good, but buried in the article is a description of the new selection policy, where the supervisor can recommend new materials to be purchased, but then the recommendations have to go through the school board, which will have at least 30 days to review the titles, PLUS the books have to meet a set of criteria, and then the books are posted online for public review. Not to mention that there’s also an online “opt out” form that parents can fill out if they don’t want their kids reading specific books. I’m exhausted just summarizing this.
The Greenvile ISD (TX) is considering updating the district’s policy regarding student access to books.
The Proud Boys set out to disrupt a Pride Month library event in McKinney, Texas, but were outnumbered by a huge “human shield” of LGBTQ supporters.
The Freedom to Read fight continues as Florida library media specialists face a summer of fears and unknowns.
“No one felt safe:” Florida schools and students feel the effects of the Don’t Say Gay bill.
The Leon County (FL) School Board approves their LGBTQ Inclusive School Guide after hours of fierce debate.
A Walker County (GA) parent is protesting several books in the school libraries, including The Hate U Give, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Slaughterhouse-Five.
The Lafayette community and library leaders debate the ban of book displays that highlight diversity.
Three women appeal Dirigo High School’s (ME) decision to keep Gender Queer in school libraries.
A group of mothers upset over a Pride display at the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library in Coventry, CT told library staffers that the books should be burned.
The Haters by Jesse Andrews is now being challenged in the Elizabethtown Area School District (PA), where Andrews’s other book Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was also recently challenged.
The Greenvile (NC) school board considers changes in the way book selections and objections are handled.
Meanwhile in Greenville, South Carolina, a local LGBTQ+ advocacy group seeks change after the library took down its Pride displays.
The 24 book challenge in the Catawba (NC) School District will extend into the next school year. Also, the headline uses an increasingly common phrase from book banners: “I’m not trying to ban books, but…”
Washington County (VA) residents debate removing Lawn Boy from the Glade Spring Public Library.
“America First” proponents attack Loudoun County (VA) schools with a new lawsuit over the district’s inclusion and equity policies.
Virginia Beach’s obscenity hearing against Gender Queer and A Court of Mist and Fury is set for the end of August.
The Frederick School Board (VA) retains a challenged reading textbook for elementary schoolers. The problem appears to be that the textbook contains stories about non-white people, which at least one board member said borders on CRT.
Conservative culture warriors take aim at Kansas City’s Mid-Continent Public Library — in this case, the issues stemmed from conservative board members refusing to approve the proposed annual budget.
Gender Queer’s inclusion on the 2023 Illinois Lincoln Award List is going to lead to a lot of hoopla in Illinois schools and libraries in the coming months. Right now, the Barrington Area School District is facing complaints from parents.
The Jennings County Public Library (IN) removed its Pride display.
The Chippewa Falls School Board (WI) decides not to ban Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe from the high school curriculum, but does require parental permission before students can be assigned the book.
A parent accused Oconomowoc (WI) schools of teaching age-inappropriate material, so the district threatened a defamation lawsuit.
The Portsmouth (OH) Public Library hears complaints and votes of support for its Pride Month display.
An LGBTQ display at Jackson Madison County Library (TN) leads to controversy.
Well, the Montana State Library Commission voted down the proposed logo because it was too similar to a Pride flag.
Community members rally against a proposed school library book review policy from the Utah State Board of Education.
Thankfully, the Orem (UT) Public Library’s Pride displays drew far less negative attention this year than last year.
Albany County (WY) Public Library held a well-attended Drag Queen Story Time, despite concern from certain residents that these events “short-circuit a young person’s opportunity to have a non-sexualized youth.” (Yes that is an actual quote from the article.)
A group of Proud Boys gathered outside the Sparks (NV) Public Library, including one man who approached the library while carrying a gun, causing everyone to run inside for safety.
Arizona teachers will not face new limits on teaching subjects related to race or ethnicity next year.
So an addition to last week’s post about Payson (AZ) Councilor Jim Ferris, who wanted the library to remove the book Sex is a Funny Word even though he admitted to never actually reading the book: he also tried to get the council to deny a $250,000 grant to the library because they wouldn’t remove the book.
The campaign to remove LGBTQ+ books from public libraries reaches Sonoma County (CA).
The Medford (OR) superintendent and deputy superintendent ordered the removal of the graphic novel adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale after a smaller committee could not come to a consensus about how to handle the book.
Crook County (OR) schools adopt a new reading curriculum based around social-emotional learning, which of course, is concerning to certain parents in the district.
The Kennewick (WA) School Board wants to take a stand against CRT — but will their policy actually do anything?
The Kent (WA) School Board elects not to remove Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) from school libraries.
Five Hong Kong unionists have pleaded not guilty to publishing “seditious” material in a children’s book about sheep.
Beijing is blacklisting more Taiwanese books as standards for book imports become stricter.
Are schools too inclusive? Some people think so.
Safe space clubs for LGBTQ students are being increasingly targeted by right-wing protestors.
How libraries came to be sanctuaries for LGBTQ kids.
Commentary: Republicans are banning books about historical truths that their own leaders have apologized for.
This Buzzfeed writer read the 5 most challenged LGBTQ books from 2021 and shared their thoughts.
Simon & Schuster launches a banned book promotion for bookstores.
Numbers & Trends
Why are women’s stories with dark themes growing in popularity?
A definitive ranking of the sexiest book covers.
Jesmyn Ward wins the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
The 2022 CWA Dagger Awards have been announced.
The 2021 Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards have been announced.
The best true-crime dramas of 2022, ranked.
A first look at True Detective, Season 4.
Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous
This Tasmanian “book detective” reunites customers with long-lost books and beloved childhood titles.
On the Riot
This Rioter reflects on their first year as a high school librarian.
How much time and money does it take to maintain a Little Free Library?
How to create a virtual book club, or revive one that’s languishing.
Dubai opens a new book-shaped library.
Not to be confused: book title edition.
Books where the hardcover has a clever design beneath the dust jacket.
How to achieve the ideal beach reading day.
This issue’s cat photo is dedicated to Gilbert, who had to go to the vet today. He’s been sneezing and coughing on and off for the last few months, and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything serious. Turns out the respiratory stuff is probably either a sinus infection or kitty asthma, and aside from that and a few bad teeth, the crusty old coot is remarkably healthy. Fingers crossed for continued health.
I looked back at my sign off from a couple newsletters ago, which mentioned that I had a long weekend coming up, and that “I hope the world doesn’t get drastically worse between now and then.” Apparently the universe said, “Challenge accepted.” Take care of yourselves, friends. I’ll see you on Tuesday.
—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.