Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Lĭt / uh / ruh / sē Äw / fĭs

Read Zone

"And Tango Makes Three" tops ALA's 2006 list of most challenged books
March 6, 2007

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) received a total of 546 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. Public libraries, schools and school libraries report the majority of challenges to OIF.

"The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported," said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. "For each reported challenge, four or five likely remain unreported."

The "10 Most Challenged Books of 2006" reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

"And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
"Gossip Girls" series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
"Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
"The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler
"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison
"Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz
"Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
"Beloved" by Toni Morrison
"The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.

Check out these titles at Burbank Public Library.

In Related News . . . .
Library group winks at thugs [ Click here for complete article ]
Nat Hentoff, Sweet Land of Liberty
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The American Library Association — the largest organization of librarians in the world — continually declares that it fights for everyone's "Freedom to Read!" and its Library Bill of Rights requires its members to "challenge censorship." Yet the leadership of the ALA — not the rank and file — insistently refuses to call for the immediate release of the independent librarians in Cuba — designated as "prisoners of conscience" by Amnesty International. They are serving very long prison terms because they do believe in the freedom to read — especially in a dictatorship. . . .

. . . . Also calling for the liberation of Castro's many prisoners of conscience, including the librarians, are the Organization of American States, Amnesty International and Freedom House. . . .

. . . . A key ALA official, Judith Krug, heads its office of Intellectual Freedom. In my many years of reporting on the ALA's sterling record of protecting American librarians from censorship, I often quoted her in admiration. But now, she said at an ALA meeting about supporters of the caged librarians, "I've dug in my heels ... I refuse to be governed by people with an agenda." The Cuba issue, she continued, "wouldn't die," though she'd like to "drown it."

The agenda, Ms. Krug, is freedom. "Every burned book," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "illuminates the world." But ALA's leadership refuses to bring light to the cages of these Cuban prisoners of conscience. The ALA's membership booklet proclaims "the public's right (everywhere) to explore in their libraries many points of view on all questions and issues facing them."

An issue facing all members of the ALA is their leaders' shameful exception of the Cuban people's freedom to read.

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