Thursday, September 26, 2013

Banned Book week in Oregon continues: Oregon Library & School Challenges 2012 - 2013

Oregon libraries and schools saw 13 challenges in 2012 - 2013. Challenged materials included books, videos, audio materials, a calculus textbook, a student newspaper editorial, and in one case the library's internet policy. The material levels ranged from junior to young adult to adult.

Three challenged items were removed; nine were retained, sometimes with a change in access; and one case remains unresolved.

Girls' Life, edited by Karen Bokram.

Description: Intended for young teenage girls featuring beauty, fashion, dating, makeup, accessories, advice, star profiles, and quizzes.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged by a parent in a school district in 2012. Reason: sex education unsuited for age; drugs. School district removed it from elementary and middle school libraries.

Big Sixteen, by Mary Calhoun.

Description: Retelling of a black tall tale from slavery times based on versions anthologized by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged by a parent in a public library in 2012. Reason: inappropriate for children's section. Relocated.

Practice Makes Perfect Precalculus, by Clark, William & Sandra Luna McCune.

Description: A guide and workbook covering the basics of precalculus.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in a public library in 2012. Reason: incorrect answers and comments. Removed.

Dangerous, by Bill Hicks.

Description: First live CD album released by stand-up comedian and satirist Bill Hicks in 1990.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in a public library in 2013. Reason: concern that item encourages and/or normalizes child pornography and sexual abuse. Retained.

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.

Description: The first installment in an erotic series that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in an academic library in 2013. Reason: sexually explicit; against religious values; pornography. Retained & moved from browsing collection to the literature collection in the stacks.

The Tale of Three Storytellers, by James Krüss.

Description: Short story in a student anthology.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged by a parent in a school library in 2012. Reason: promotes Islam. Retained.

Sweet Movie, directed by Dušan Makavejev.

Description: The story of two women: a nearly mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness, and another who captains a ship laden with candy and sugar, luring men and boys aboard for sex, death, and revolutionary talk.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in a public library in 2012. Reason: concern that it promotes child pornography. Retained.

Library Internet policy.

Description: Internet access.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in a public library by clergy in 2013. Reason: lack of filtering on computers & wireless network. Library District Board voted to filter children's computers in children's room for "pornography."

The Furry Trap, by Josh Simmons.

Description: A graphic novel consisting of 11 short stories described as “skincrawling” terror.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in 2012 in a public library; Reason: exposed children to graphic sexual violence. Outcome: Library agreed not to display this item in the future.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno, directed by Mike Smith.

Description: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to realize that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously believed.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in 2013 by an individual in a public library. Reason: sexually explicit. Retained.

Little Black Book for Girlz: a Book on Healthy Sexuality, by St. Stevens Community House

Description: Created by a group of young women who hung out at the St. Stephen's Community Youth Arcase Drop-In in Toronto Canada. Intended to encourage young women to learn more about their bodies, their relationships and their lives.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged by a parent in Taft 7 - 12 high school library in 2013. Reason: Too graphic for a 7th grader; Unresolved. Remains in 3 other district high school libraries.

Op-ed in "The Arrow,” Sherwood HS student newspaper.

Description: The article criticized the school board for not renewing the lacrosse coach's contract. The coach's wife had been put on leave for allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student. She was under investigation but not yet charged. The coach's contract was not renewed after refusing to resign.

Reason and Outcome: Administrators removed an op-ed piece in April 2013. Reason: it would cause a disruption & contained inaccuracies. Outcome: issue republished without this article.

Shredderman: Secret Identity, audio book by Weldelin Van Draanen

Description: Alan Dixon (Bubba) has bullied Nolan (Nerd) for five years. So when Mr. Green asks their class to become reporters, Nolan decides he’ll write an exposé—on Bubba. He creates a secret identify for himself and creates as a place where truth and justice prevail—and bullies get what’s coming to them. The first of a series.

Reason and Outcome: Challenged in a public library in 2013. Reason: offensive language. Retained.

(Original list available from the Oregon ACLU in pdf form here.)

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