Annotated Bibliography

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Beahm, George (editor). War of Words: The Censorship Debate. Kansas City, Andrews and McMeel, 1993.

This book, according to the editor, is intended to be a starting point for a debate on censorship.  It includes essays on the censorship in music and movies, but focuses on challenges to books, and in schools.

Coatney, Sharon.  “Banned Books: A School Librarian’s Perspective,” Time, September 22, 2000.

Sharon Coatney is a former president of School of Librarians (a division of the American Library Association), and has been a librarian in grade schools at all levels.  The author reflects on how she selects her elementary school library collection, and books which she has refused to add, and her own views on censorship.  This gives a librarian’s perspective on why censorship happens and how students can be taught to evaluate their own reading choices.

Colombini, Kenneth.  “Censorship: A Double-Edged Sword We’re Taking Sides on kulturkampf.”  Orange County Register, May 10 1990.  Western Newsstand. Web.  23 Oct 2013.

This article discusses the allocation of public funds through the National Endowment for the Arts, and spending on works that are “obscene” or “blasphemous.”  However the ideas it presents can be applied to larger complaints about censorship.

Dow, Mirah J. (editor).  School Libraries Matter: Views from the Research.  Santa Barbara, CA, Libraries Unlimited, 2013.

Chapter authors were chosen based on the research they had already done on school libraries.  It advocates for fully funded school libraries and for school librarians to become educators.  It focuses on the impact of school libraries on academic achievement.

Hulsizer, Donna.  Protecting the Freedom to Learn:  Citizen’s Guide.” Washington DC, People For the American Way, 1989.  

Donna Hulsizer was education policy director of People For the American Way.  This book provides an overview of censorship, and the tactics often used in censorship attempts.  It tries to show how communities can fight and defeat censorship, and gives advice for arranging an anti-censorship campaign.  The author and People For the American Way are concerned by attempts to limit what can be taught in public schools, not merely with books in the libraries, and want to teach all educators to fight for the freedom of information, and advocate free and open debate.

Lasky, Melvin J.  “Long-Legged Lies: Censorship About Noncensorship.” The New Republic (pre-1988); May 1982; 186, 018; ProQuest Research Library pg. 10.

Examines reports of censorship in the West Bank, and the truth of these reports.  Some extremist pamphlets with titles similar to famous literary works were banned, leading some to report that those famous works were being censored in the West Bank.

Lukenbill, W. Bernard and James F.  “Censorship: What Do School Library Specialists Really Know?” ALA.com

W. Bernard Luckenbill is a professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas, Austin.  James F. Lukenbill is senior manager of the data and analytics at the Austin office of Afflicted Computer Services This is a study of the knowledge level of school librarians regarding court rulings affecting student’s first amendment rights.  The study ends by redefining school librarianship education and their professional responsibility to understand freedom of speech issues.

People For the American Way.  Attacks on the Freedom to Learn. Washington DC, People For the American Way, 1996.

This book offers a summary of the censorship trends across the United States, as recorded by the People for the American Way, and includes a state-by-state list of every censorship attempt reported to them.  This book provides information not just on what books and ideas have been challenged, but also how those challenges were fought.

Rogers, Melinda.  “Utah School Librarians may Get Training After Book Controversy.”  The Salt Lake Tribune,” Jul 14, 2012.  Western Newsstand.  Web. 23 Oct 2013.

A book was removed from the shelves in Davis County because of concerns from parents about the suitability of the story.  As a result the school district is considering training librarians in intellectual freedom, so that librarians will be better prepared to address these challenges.

Roleff, Tamara (editor).  Censorship: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA, Greenhaven Press, 2002.

This book is a series of essays from a number of people touching on many aspects of censorship, including a chapter dedicated to schools.  For each topic it offers a “pro” and a “con” argument, which allows the reader to become more informed on a topic and to feel more comfortable forming their own opinions.  I found this book especially helpful.  Censorship in schools can be a difficult topic as educators try to offer as much information as possible without presenting topics their students are too young for.

Scales, Pat R.  Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines.  Chicago, American Library Association, 2009.

Pat Scales is a retired school librarian, and in 2007 was elected the vice-president of the Association of Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.  In this book she tries to address many of the day to day decisions faced by school librarians, including how to select materials and defend these selections.  She is well aware of the problems faced by school librarians, the difficulties in choosing a range of materials, satisfying parents, and the budget constraints that many schools face.

Varlejs, Jana (editor).  Freedom of Information and Youth.  Jefferson, NC, McFarland & Company, 1986.

Jana Varlejs is the director of the Library and Information Studies Professional Development Program at Rutgers School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies.  This book is the proceedings of the symposium held at Rutgers in 1984.  Varlejs, in her introduction, says that she is not sure if the number of censorship challenges have been rising, or if people have merely become more sensitive to them, but she is concerned by inconsistent court decisions on school censorship.  This book discusses recurring issues in censorship, values, and citizen action against censorship.

Whelan, Debra Lau.  “A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship.”  School Library Journal Archive Content, February 1, 2009.

This article discusses how, through selection of materials, librarians are effectively censoring books which they feel might b e challenged by parents.  These items often have more mature themes, but the authors and reviewers feel they are appropriate for their intended audiences.  This article discusses student’s ability to select appropriate works on their own.

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