The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released a new resource guide to support school librarians addressing challenges related to censorship and patron privacy issues, particularly with LGBTQ+ materials. “Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries” contains resources, links, and activities scaffolded by the newly released AASL “National School Library Standards.”
Using the AASL Standards as a framework, the guide encapsulates how school librarians can protect themselves and the LGBTQ+ materials in their collections from challenges. School librarians will find valuable resources and links as expected in a traditional toolkit.
In addition, the guide includes activities in each section that will help school librarians engage in their own inquiry process as they explore their own biases and discover practices for developing and defending their collections. Accompanying the document is an infographic highlighting the resources, inspiration, statistics, and ideas contained in the guide; and a framework application allowing users to navigate more quickly based on their own specific questions and needs.
Noting that four of the titles on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2015 dealt with LGBTQ+ issues, members of AASL’s Affiliate Assembly requested AASL take action to clarify and publicize resources and procedures for addressing challenges related to censorship and patron privacy issues.
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