Slideshow - Canadian Library Association

2011 Results and Analysis
Donna Bowman and Alvin M Schrader
Canadian Library Association, Ottawa
June 1, 2012
What this talk will cover
 A definition & brief discussion of
“challenge” vs. banning/removal
 The survey as it appeared on Survey
Monkey (free version)
 Analysis of the 2011 results
 Some of the challenged titles & policies
ALA’s definition of “challenge”
“A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict
materials, based upon the objections of a
person or group. A banning is the removal of
those materials. Challenges do not simply
involve a person expressing a point of view;
rather, they are an attempt to remove material
from the curriculum or library, thereby
restricting the access of others.”
- ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, “About Banned
and Challenged Books,” c. 1997-2012, ALA website
Number of challenges that go
 for each challenge reported, 4 or 5 are not
- ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, “Frequently Challenged
Books,” c. 1997-2011, ALA website,
 results of a small survey in the U.S. support
this estimate (thanks to Angela Maycock, Ass’t. Dir. of ALA’s
OIF for this information)
 probably very similar or even worse for
Canada, due in part to youth of this Survey
The Survey Instrument
(Survey Monkey free version)
Number of challenges to materials &
policies in 2011
 Overall number of challenges: 101
 Challenges to materials: 93
 Challenges to 4 series, both book and TV,
counted as one challenge per book
title/episode in the series or season of the
 Policy challenges: 8
For comparison’s sake...
 326 challenges were reported to the ALA OIF in 2011
- ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, “Frequently
challenged books of the 21st century,” c. 1997-2012, ALA
Series challenges
 Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, vol. 2:
The War Years, starring Sean Patrick Flanery - 9
titles/episodes (DVDs)
 His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman - 3 titles
 Love and Rockets, titles by Jaime Hernandez in
graphic novel series - 16 titles with JH as author/
illustrator or co-author/co-illustrator
 Trial and Retribution – 4 titles/episodes (DVDs
of the ITV drama)
Most challenged author
 Jaime Hernandez, for his work on the graphic novel
series, Love and Rockets
Cover of Maggie the
Mechanic, one of the Love and
Rockets titles by Jaime
Highest number of challenges in
one library
 19, in an Ontario public library where
the Love and Rockets series and
several other items were challenged
Challenges by material format
Sound recordings:
Book challenges by category
DVD challenges by category
Challenges by type of library
K-12 School:
Most frequent reasons for challenges
Results of challenges
First ever challenge to an entire genre:
 “Graphic novels in general” – exemplified by Jaime
Hernandez’s titles in the Love and Rockets series
 Reasons: nudity; sexually explicit; age inappropriate
 In our survey, counted as a (collection) policy
(In 2008, all “adult-rated” graphic novels were challenged
in a public library in Alberta when a patron found her child
reading them in the adult section.)
Repeat challenges from other years (1)
 Now Magazine, a free Toronto current events
- only title challenged 2 times in 2011
Repeat challenges from other years (2)
 Angels in America, movie directed by Mike Nichols
and starring Meryl Streep
Repeat challenges from other years (3)
 Beyond the Dark, a fantasy romance short story
collection by Angela Knight, Lora Leigh, Emma Holly,
& Diane Whiteside
Repeat challenges from other years (4)
 Brüno, movie by Sacha Baron Cohen
Repeat challenges from other years (5)
 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, movie
Repeat challenges from other years (6)
 His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Repeat challenges from other years (7)
 Rolling Stone magazine
Challenged in every survey so far
 At least one LGBTQ-positive children’s picture book
 In 2011, The Sissy Duckling, by Harvey Fierstein
Picture books (1)
 The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it was
None of his Business, by Werner Holzwarth
Picture books (2)
 Two Dumb Ducks, by Maxwell Eaton
Children’s literature (1)
 Groovy Girls Sleepover Party #2: Pranks a Lot: The
Girls vs. the Boys, by Robin Epstein
Children’s literature (2)
 Boy O'Boy, by Brian Doyle (children’s novel ages 11-13)
 Policy of collecting graphic novels
 Policy of not labelling materials “restricted”
 Policy of not labelling materials for explicit content
 Policy of not labelling materials with “explicit
content” warning
 Policy of not restricting borrowing by age
 Policy of allowing those with a children’s card to
borrow 18A rated movies or TV shows
 Policy of restricting movies rated “restricted” to
patrons 18+
 Policy of allowing only 2 of 4 school library
computers to have e-book download software
To advise Executive Council with respect to
- the status of IF in Canada, including pending legislation
- the need for media statements re IF issues especially affecting
libraries & the information professions
- the content of the IF Position Statement & the Code of Ethics
To promote & actively encourage IF as a prime responsibility of the
library profession in Canada.
To gather & disseminate Canadian information about IF violations &
To gather & disseminate Canadian information about IF threats, such as
new legislation
To maintain effective liaison with other IF-related organizations &
groups in Canada & around the world
To provide moral support to a librarian, library, or other individual or
group - such as teacher or publisher - threatened by a censorship
attack or other IF violation , & recommend monetary support from
To promote awareness about the Award for the Advancement of
Intellectual Freedom in Canada & to administer it annually
To collaborate with any Networks related to IF issues
Challenges by reason 1
Challenges by reason 2
Challenges by reason 3

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