Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Librarians in the Breech

Many recent stories about how some individuals on the right are criminalizing children's access to educational and health related books and other content. 

Librarians face significant new obstacles in building broad based reading programs that include books reflecting many of the core values which APA represents. This article in the the Washington Post describes many of the new challenges faced by librarians in the current highly politicized environment. As the article notes, Librarians normally have Masters degrees, teacher certification and many years of experience which eclipses the 'experience' of those tasked with reviewing their selections. The situation in many school and public libraries is fast becoming a crisis. 

For APA Publishing (where I work), this is a critical issue for our Magination Press titles. While we publish on many of these issues our titles will be banned and/or excluded from the audiences they are designed to help and support and that's the real crime.

From WAPO:

Students are upset, especially LGBTQ students, said a Keller employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retribution. “They want to see themselves in books, they want to see themselves reflected, and they’re not able to.”

The district wrote in a statement that the book selection “process we have in place … allows librarians to take the lead in curating our libraries, while inviting our community to provide input and to partner with staff to protect our students.” It continued: “Books are not removed simply because they feature LGBTQ characters, and there are still books available that include these characters.”

And this (WAPO)

In one Texas school district, school librarians have ordered 6,000 fewer books this year than the year before, because under a new rule parents must have 30 days to review the titles before the school board votes to approve them. In Pennsylvania, a school librarian who must now obtain her principal’s okay for acquisitions has bought just 100 books this school year, compared with her typical 600.

No comments: