I think the hardest part is stowing our biases at the door. It’s easy to scrub the stacks of most blatantly positive portrayals of racism, sexism, ableism, etc. It’s harder to do so without neutering the discussion of the ugliness of life, the reality that all students will encounter those beliefs held by someone who is perfectly content to do so. As one person, you cannot be there to speak the discerning words needed to encourage every student to think critically about the views held by the characters or authors. But we owe them the chance to process this themselves and not create a bubble of the world we hope for. * We’ll always look for new ways to help those discussions happen.
So buy the Harry Potters, Twlights, and Catch-22s. Celebrate the opportunity to face a challenge and push the fences ever backward.
*A really neat idea to inform readers about reading rights and challenges from Abby Armour of Future-Ready Librarians.
Edwin Moore, Pioneer of Youth Librarians’ Right to Recommend and Anti-Censorship Crusader
4th Grade Civics webquest for collaborative use with grade-level team
Resources for Intellectual Freedom
ALA Intellectual Freedom Policy-writing resources