Short Bytes for the K-12 Library Community



Portrait of smiling African American elementary school age girl carrying stack of books in school library.From the Colorado Virtual Library blog

Announcing the first installment of the Short Bytes mini-newsletter from the Colorado State Library! This twice-a-month short-bytes newsletter (posted on the Colorado Virtual Library blog) will feature short articles and information they’ve culled on promising K-12 librarian/library staff practice, timely issues, and more. Resources from this issue focus on recent upticks in challenges to library materials and programs.

Censorship, Challenges, and Intellectual Freedom – Some Basics

Censorship, challenges, and intellectual freedom are important aspects of any librarian’s job. We have a responsibility to select materials appropriate to our student’s age level, while simultaneously protecting our young learners’ intellectual freedom as well as their right to read.

Due to the recent uptick in challenges, we encourage you to:

  • Read ALA’s Library Bill of Rights and ALA’s Challenge Support. Reflect on what things you learned from this.
  • Check your district or school’s policies around challenged books. Do you have a reconsideration form and process for what to do in the event of challenged materials? Do you have a district selection policy and/or one that has been recently updated?

Protecting a Student’s Right to Read

Listen to a recent webinar from ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom entitled “Protecting a Student’s Right to Read in a Hyperpartisan Environment.”Reflect on how you could get your younger learners and adult learners (staff and parents) as fellow advocates if/when you are challenged.

Compelling Read

We encourage you to read this recent article entitled “Librarians Fight Back Against Efforts to Ban Books in Schools” from Education Weekly. The article offers some insights into challenges, including how to tap into our younger learners to become our materials/program challenge advocates.

Finding Help from the WSL

Do you have questions about issues in your school library? Contact Paige Bredenkamp, Wyoming State Library School Library Consultant, at paige.bredenkamp@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6331.

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