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.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.