Mar. 10th, 2010

lizzybennet: (never have too many)
"Selection, then, begins with a presumption in favor of liberty of thought; censorship, with a presumption in favor of thought control. Selection's approach to the book is positive, seeking its values in the book as a book, and in the book as a whole. Censorship's approach is negative, seeking vulnerable characteristics wherever they can be found--anywhere within the book, or even outside it. Selection seeks to protect the right of the reader to read; censorship seeks to protect--not the right--but the reader from himself from the fancied effects of his reading. The selector has faith in the intelligence of the reader; the censor has faith only in his own.

--Lester Asheim

I'm doing my Info Ethics capstone paper on censorship in children's libraries. Interestingly enough, last week we talked about challenged/banned books in my Children's Resources class. As part of our assignment we were required to read two books from this list of LGBT children's literature (this link is a pdf, btw). My local library did not have one single book from the list in their collection. Not one.

Talk about selection versus censorship! How to avoid a conflict: don't have any controversial material on the shelves. It is disappointing on many levels. Also, when I looked for "A Day No Pigs Would Die," they had it in the adult section. Considering that it is often challenged for its graphic portrayal of pig mating (I'm not making that up), I wonder if they moved it to the adult section in response to a patron complaint.


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