Thursday, May 8, 2008

Liberating the reading habits of children

Roger Sutton, editor an-in-chief, The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide
Maggie Bush, Children’s literature Professor at Simmons College

History of access to reading for children
ALA and state library associations have protected the reading rights of children
1967 – “age” was included into the Bill of Rights
Parents and only parents may restrict their own children’s reading access
With these additions we strengthen the responsibilities of parents in what their children read

The problem:
Who are we as librarians responsible for serving?
The parents or the children

Janey want to read Harry Potter books
Her parents believe these books are manuals for satanic rituals
What is our responsibility in this situation?

Maggie Bush’s answer
We must advocate for the child first and foremost
Then address the parent’s concerns

One important point mentioned was that librarians need to offer any books that children may need. These may be controversial but necessary. Some librarians have made these books available without the children needing to actually check the books out. This may be in the form of a specific shelf or box in a private area.

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