True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries
Stenis, Paul, Reference & User Services Quarterly
True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries. Ed. by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco. Chicago: ALA, 2012. 176 p. Paper $50 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1130-3).
Warning! True Stories gets you excited about librarianship. Some readers will rise from their chairs, pump their fists, and shout "Heck, yeah!" Others will express their empathy quietly. Either way, this is a provocative book. Share it with colleagues. Read it with future librarians. Fruitful discussion and feelings of solidarity are sure to follow.
True Stories is, unsurprisingly, a collection of true stories. Each is a brief personal account of one librarian's fight against censorship. In some, librarians face a protracted flurry of written challenges and red tape. In others, they withstand intense public scrutiny and personal attacks. Minor characters include school principals, school board officials, television personalities, religious groups, and the FBI. The most common conflict is the book challenge, but there are many other experiences to learn from too. More than one librarian deals with covert censorship from within their own library. Another handles tribal input while implementing a sensitive Native American collection. And another defends the erotica collection at her college library. …