As Toby Rajput (2012) suggests, Librarians do not censor books but we do “…buy books and shelve books based on their appropriateness for the population we’re working with.”

Working in a school Library servicing 4 – 12 year olds there definitely are considerations for the collection. As a 40-something myself, I clearly recall the book that Toby mentioned in her video, “Five Chinese Brothers”, and I loved it as her son did, but it is not a book that I would have in the general collection for borrowing. It is most certainly a book that I would use to teach critical literacy, stereotypes in stories, and so on.

As an anglo-saxon, there are many books that I would not be offended by because I am represented in a positive light. However, the multicultural , somewhat modest school community that my Library services could take offence to many similar types of books arriving home in Library bags, without any prior discussion. This discussion about the images and content is vitally important so that my students can have these conversations with their parents as well.

The conflicting issue that I often find myself in is at the other end of the spectrum – 10-12 years olds wanting to read Teen Fiction such as ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and ‘The Hunger Games’. Personally, I do not take issue with good readers wanting to read these popular fiction novels for recreational reading – although I will also encourage them to also borrow an Emily Rodda or Carol Wilkinson novel. As a parent, my children of this age have read these books and so have I. This allows me to have conversations with them about some of the themes that they may not have any experience with and extend their imagination, develop empathy for characters, and so on. I am a Librarian, though. Would my students have these conversations with their parents? Maybe. Although many of them have seen the film versions of these, and more sexually explicit and violent movies or video games containing far more adult language and situations.

In consultation with the Principal, the few novels that I do have that contain explicit

language require parental permission for borrowing. This has never been an issue and I think that it establishes a good relationship with parents who can trust the school to

provide access to resources that are appropriate for the age and the developmental level of their child.

References

provide access to resources that are appropriate for the age and the developmental level of their child.

provide access to resources that are appropriate for the age and the developmental level of their child.

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