January 19, 2022

Alabama: Who Decides Which Books are Available in the State’s School Libraries? (Investigative Report)

From the The Anniston Star:
(via Huffington Post)

At White Plains Middle School, teen vampires in the library were just too much for one adult.

At B.B. Comer High School in Sylacauga, a handbook on pregnancy and childbirth was moved to the reference shelves, with parental permission required for checkout.

At Winterboro High, the novel “White Oleander” stayed on school library shelves, though kids need a parent’s permission to check it out, too.

Those local school library concerns were among several uncovered by Anniston Star reporters and University of Alabama journalism students in a months-long, statewide effort to find out which books are challenged by parents — and which are ultimately banned from libraries — in the state’s 132 public school districts.


The Star/University of Alabama team set out last fall to collect all book challenge forms filed in the past five years in the state’s 132 city and county school districts and a few state-supported schools that aren’t part of typical districts. Some districts responded immediately; some responded after multiple requests for the forms, which are public record.

Nine districts reported challenges, a few of which predated the five-year span of The Star’s records request. Seventy-seven districts reported no challenges in the past five years; 46 districts didn’t provide any information at all.

Read the Complete Article/Access Interactive Map


Alabama Newspaper Reveals Which Books Parents Most Often Request To Be Banned (via The Huffington Post)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.