Thursday, January 12, 2023

ALA again touts banned books

 The ALA is The American Library Association. LJ (Library Journal) is its publication. It's one of the many professional and non-profit organizations on the left that drum up support by claiming the USA is racist and corrupt and only their members can save it. ALA is right up there with ACLU and George Soros' Open Society. Once a year ALA does a Banned Books week/month (I've forgotten) in the fall, but now with all the trans and LGBT hoopla, it's expanded to Winter. No books are ever banned by a public library except by their own staff in the back room, even if parents parade and riot, they wouldn't do it. Plus there are many ways to get books in this country--just ask a drag queen, for instance, or even local churches sponsor pride events. I picked up a card game at Marc's this morning and put it back when I saw it was promoting rainbow LGBT values on the box cover. It's not like it's a hidden topic. It's 2% of the population getting 30% of the news, art, school curriculum, movies, fashion and advertising/graphics for packaging and selling everything from tooth paste to dog food.

What does happen at the library is something like this: a tax paying parent or other adult may ask why such a book or subscription has been purchased when Christian books are excluded. Or why when a pornographic title is taking up shelf space is patron's favorite hobby considered too esoteric or little used for purchase. The one title most consistently "banned" is the Bible.

Complaining is not banning. Asking for proportion or fairness is not banning. Advocating for children not to be abused with surgery or hormones is not banning information. Requesting that U.S. history not be defamed and ridiculed is not racial discrimination. And right-wing activists have the same rights as the Green-go climate activists, the BLM supporters, and the remove the borders advocates. They pay taxes too.

"Brooklyn Public Library’s Nick Higgins, Amy Mikel, Karen Keys, Jackson Gomes, and Leigh Hurwitz have been named LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year for their work on Books Unbanned, providing free ebook access to teens and young adults nationwide to help defy rising book challenges across the country. In 2022 Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned Team began providing free ebook access to teens and young adults nationwide, defying rising book challenges across the count. In the past year, book challenges became part of the national discourse. Efforts to censor what materials U.S. kids, teens, and young adults can access—primarily content about race and LGBTQIA+ issues—are increasing, often in the places those resources are needed most. From January to August 2022, the American Library Association (ALA) logged 681 attempts to ban or restrict access to 1,651 unique titles—the highest number of challenges since ALA began tracking them. From July 2021 to June 2022, the freedom of expression nonprofit PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans listed 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 titles. It has become increasingly clear to many that these censorship efforts go beyond complaints from individual concerned parents. Libraries and classrooms have become the targets of coordinated political campaigns frequently led and/or funded by right-wing activists. As a large and well-resourced institution in the relatively liberal jurisdiction of New York City, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is well positioned to ensure access to the full range of books it deems valuable for its community of readers. The library also provides free digital cards to New York State residents, and previously offered out-of-state cards for a fee. But several staff members, as well as President and CEO Linda E. Johnson, felt that BPL could—and should—do more for those beyond the borough’s borders.” (Library Journal, Jan. 3, 2023)

How to lie with statistics. 2022 showed a 23% decease in Black characters in children's "best sellers." Duh. Look what happened in 2020. All the publishers (that's the key--it's money) and all the librarians (they can make or break a publisher's decision) rushed to stock up on titles with black face/black characters, no matter the quality of illustration or writing style. After the media began running other stories (like hate Trump, or Covid), the choices dropped as did demand. So by 2022, the unusually high number had dropped.

Here's another one: Only 12.12% of children’s books are about black or African characters. Hmm. 18.7% of the population are Hispanic/Latino. Black is between 12% and 14% depending on how mixed race is counted. White is between 60-70%, depending on how mixed race is counted. Also only about 7.64% of children's books have black authors; so that means white authors are incorporating more black characters. White authors of children's books write about all topics, but black authors write over 91% about back characters, Is that good or racist? (Wordsrated. com Mar. 22, 2022).

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