The ALA not only collects lists of banned books, they also keep track of banned authors. Check out the article to see if your favorite author is on the list!
Archive for the ‘ALA OIF’ Category
Deborah Caldwell-Stone | April 16, 2013
In an era of “Big Data,” someone is tracking your every move. Whether it’s your location, your phone calls, your Facebook posts, your purchases or the websites you visit, your daily activities are monitored, recorded, collected and stored. But all too often, you can’t tell by whom.
Information should go both ways or not at all. Everyone should have the right to know who’s collecting their information and choose how their private data is used.
During Choose Privacy Week, May 1 – 7, 2013, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) invites everyone to visit their local library to find out about the importance of individual privacy rights and understand how to protect those rights when businesses and the government alike are collecting and using their personal data.
“People who understand how personal data is generated, collected, stored and used are better equipped to take control of their personal data and demand accountability from the agencies and corporations that store and use their information,” said Barbara Jones, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom. “As institutions that traditionally defend and protect individual privacy, libraries are uniquely equipped to help individuals understand precisely what personal data is being collected about them and how businesses, institutions and government agencies use that data to monitor and shape their daily activities.”
This year’s Choose Privacy Week observance will feature a week-long online forum that will include an introduction from Barbara Jones and guest commentaries by academics, librarians and civil liberties experts that discuss current threats to personal privacy and how each threat impacts personal freedoms and civil liberties. The commentaries will be featured on the newly redesigned website at www.chooseprivacyweek.org, the online hub for Choose Privacy Week activities.
The social media hashtag for Choose Privacy Week is #chooseprivacy.
Scheduled guest commentators include Khaliah Barnes of the Electronic Privacy Information Center; Shaun Dakin, Privacy Camp; Mitra Ebadolahi, the ACLU National Security Project; Rachel Levinson-Waldman, NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice; Deborah Peel, MD, Patient Privacy Rights; Chip Pitts, Stanford Law School; Lew Maltby, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations; and J. Douglas Archer, librarian at the University of Notre Dame and chair of the ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee.
Now in its fourth year, Choose Privacy Week is a national public awareness campaign that seeks to deepen public awareness about personal privacy rights and the need to insure those rights in an era of pervasive surveillance. Through programming, online education and special events, libraries will offer individuals opportunities to learn, think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom established Choose Privacy Week to help libraries work with their communities in navigating these complicated but vital issues. Privacy has long been a cornerstone of library services in America and a right that librarians defend every day.
Jonathan Kelley | April 15, 2013
After 40 years of defending and upholding First Amendment rights, it is time for a party. Come join the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) from 7:30 – 10 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2013 at the magnificent Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St. at Michigan Ave.) for our 40th Anniversary Celebration. This event is held in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.
Tickets for this worthy event are $30 for IFRT members and $40 for non-members. If you are not a member, consider joining IFRT for only $15 and become involved in some of the most important issues in the library community. Tickets for students are $20. All tickets are available via ALA’s Annual Conference registration system (note: you do not have to register for the Annual Conference to attend). Refreshments, including signature cocktails, will be served.
Proceeds from this event will benefit IFRT’s prestigious John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, honoring the courage, dedication and contribution of an individual or group setting the finest example for the defense and furtherance of the principles of intellectual freedom. The award was named for John Phillip Immroth, founder and first chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in 1973. “The winners of this award through the years have, without exception, been inspirational to all of us who know the kind of risk and dedication it takes to stand up for intellectual freedom,” said Charles Kratz, chair of the Immroth Award committee. “Our goal is to raise $10,000 for the Immroth Award, so that it can continue to honor those who richly deserve it for years to come.” The 2013 Immroth Award recipient will be announced later this spring.
Sponsorship opportunities are available to individuals and organizations who wish to help support the event at a higher level. Sponsorship levels are $100 (Defender), $250 (Advocate) and $500 (Champion) and include tickets, recognition in the program and other benefits. Sponsorship donations above the price of the tickets are tax deductible. To become a sponsor of the IFRT 40th anniversary celebration, contact Shumeca Pickett at email@example.com or (312) 280-4220.
“The IFRT 40th Anniversary celebration will be a great opportunity to bring together long-standing and brand new members of the Intellectual Freedom community to honor our past and look forward to our future,” says Julia Warga, chair of IFRT. “I invite everyone to come and share in what promises to be a truly delightful event!”
Associated Press | April 15, 2013
Here’s a list “Fifty Shades of Grey” was destined to make: The books most likely to be removed from school and library shelves.
On Monday, E L James’ multimillion selling erotic trilogy placed No. 4 on the American Library Association’s annual study of “challenged books,” works subject to complaints from parents, educators and other members of the public. The objections: Offensive language, and, of course, graphic sexual content.
No. 1 was a not a story of the bedroom, but the bathroom, Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” books (Offensive language, unsuited for age group), followed by Sherman Alexie’s prize-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” (Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit), and Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why”(Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide). Also on the list, at No. 10, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” (Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence).
“It’s pretty exciting to be on a list that frequently features Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and Maya Angelou,” Pilkey said in a statement. “But I worry that some parents might see this list and discourage their kids from reading ‘Captain Underpants,’ even though they have not had a chance to read the books themselves.”
The library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom defines a challenge as a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.” The office received 464 challenges last year, a jump of more 25 percent from 2011, but still low compared to the 1980s and ’90s. Exact numbers, including how many books were actually pulled, are hard to calculate. The association has long believed that for every complaint registered, 4-5 go unreported by libraries, and that some librarians may restrict access in anticipation of objections.
“One reason we think the number went up in 2012 is that we made challenges easier to report by including a portal on our Web page,” said Barbara M. Jones, director of the OIF.
The challenged books list was included in the library association’s annual “State of the Libraries” report, which examines how libraries are responding to budget cuts and the financial advice they offer for patrons during hard economic times.
The “Fifty Shades” books were released last spring and public libraries in Georgia, Florida and elsewhere soon pulled the racy romance trilogy or decided not to order the books, saying they were too steamy or too poorly written. Local library representatives at the time denounced the novels as “semi-pornographic” and unfit for “community standards.”
But the list also included some works highly regarded in the literary community: Morrison’s “Beloved,” winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Alexie’s novel, a National Book Award winner; and a book club favorite, Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” (Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit). Young adult star John Green was on, for “Looking for Alaska” (Offensive language, sexually explicit), along with perennial chart-maker “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, the story of two male penguins who raise a baby penguin. Also on the list were Alvin Schwartz’s “Scary Stories” (unsuited for age group) and Jeanette Wells’ memoir “The Glass Castle.” (Offensive language, sexually explicit).
The “Captain Underpants” books, which Green said he’s currently reading to his 3-year-old son, have long been debated among parents and educators. Some praise the books because they encourage boys to read, others criticize them for their toilet humor and irreverent attitude; the title character is a superhero devised by two 4th graders about their grouchy principal, Mr. Krupp.
“I don’t see these books as encouraging disrespect for authority. Perhaps they demonstrate the value of questioning authority,” Pilkey said. “Some of the authority figures in the Captain Underpants books are villains. They are bullies and they do vicious things.”
Pilkey said his characters are based in part on teachers and principals he had between grades 2 and 5 — some of whom were villains who got away with it because they were authority figures.
“None of the children in my school, including me, thought to question them,” he said. “So, I do feel there is real value in showing kids that not all authority figures are good or kind or honorable.”
Challenged books are a measure of trouble, but also a measure of popularity, whether as a cause or an effect. Some famous entries from recent years have dropped off the top 10, likely a sign of reduced attention overall: J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books, Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy. Jones thinks some publishers “love it when their book is mentioned” because of the attention it receives, while Green agrees that getting on the list “means lots of people are reading your book.”
The president of Scholastic’s trade division, Ellie Berger, said in a statement that the “appearance of Captain Underpants on the 2012 ALA list coincides with the publication of Dav Pilkey’s first new ‘Captain Underpants’ book in six years and the series’ return to national bestseller lists — both of which are evidence that this longtime bestselling series continues to inspire a love of reading (and underpants) for a new generation of kids.”