How to Prepare for Book 2022 Challenges: This Week’s Censorship News
One of the reasons we’ve seen an increase in the challenges of books, among many others, is the death of local journalism. Where there used to be journalists at every community board meeting covering their pace, more and more newspapers are no longer in local communities. They may just not exist – one in four local newspapers in the United States has been gone since 2004. A number of these newspapers have banded together to become larger regional newspapers without the human ability to run at each. meeting, and even more logs were bought by large companies and no longer independent.
Such a wide zoom is crucial, because freedom of the press is intimately linked to intellectual freedom. Without eyes on local government, it’s easy for stories to fall through the cracks; more and more people are starting to trust Facebook for their news, whether or not that information is accurate or comes from their own community. Social media has been the perfect breeding ground for groups like those behind these book challenges.
PBS recently released the award-winning documentary Storm Lake to be broadcast; d the film follows one of the last remaining independent local newspapers, Storm Lake Times in Storm Lake, Iowa. This film is a must-read for anyone passionate about First Amendment freedoms, as it emphasizes the importance of local news in ensuring that a community is safe, kept informed, and not pushed into theories of the conspiracy, to rumors or to Facebook. news “because there is no trusted authority to turn to. It’s hard not to see this through the prism of the current censorship landscape, especially as the mainstream media reports stories like whether they were new or surprising (they aren’t – they just ended up having enough power to get into the mainstream). Storm Lake provides a lot more context for how we got to where we are now.
While we’re still in the midst of a fervor of book-related challenges, there has been more good news this week about the status of library books than in recent memory. It is likely that at the end of the year fewer challenges will emerge, but they will not go away. In 2022, they will continue, and while many of the same books will be in the spotlight, there will also be an increase in complaints about socio-emotional learning (SEL). The groups behind the anti-“critical racial theory” complaints will also be the source of the anti-SEL complaints, as these groups strive to coordinate their common language and talking points about why SEL discriminates against heterosexual whites. This would be a great time to read up on SEL, and if you’re in schools or libraries, expand your collections of mental health and wellness, fiction and non-fiction books. If you’re not, recommend a few titles at your local library. While this seems like a small thing, it sends the message that these books are valuable to a community.
Prepare to be an advocate for intellectual freedom. There is no way to do it badly or imperfectly. There is nothing to do at all. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a actionable toolkit on how to tackle book bans and challenges. Pick a thing or two that you can do and you will make a real difference.
Let’s break that down a bit this week, starting with the good news and then the rest.
Good news in the challenges of the book and censorship
Other news from the book challenge
Fascinating to see how the Party of Small Government, Liberty and “Liberty” literally wants to get their hands on books in school libraries …