How to Combat the Biased School Library Book Selection Process (Real Clear Education)


    How to Combat the Biased School Library Book Selection Process – By Paul Best (Real Clear Education) / Jan 30, 2024

    Book “bans” are sweeping the nation, roiling elected officials from local school boards to the White House. The issue is also igniting disputes between parents, librarians, teachers, and other community leaders about what material the next generation should have publicly funded access to.

    But amid the furious townhall debates over “banning” books that are already in libraries, some observers note that the initial selection process – how and why libraries are stocked with certain materials – may be just as prone to bias and even more important to the question of how to rear the next generation of inquisitive, well-informed Americans.

    There were 3,362 instances of book bans in K-12 schools during the 2022-2023 school year, a 33 percent jump over the prior year and the continuation of a trend that started escalating in 2021, according to one analysis by PEN America.

    “We do censor books, and when we censor books, we use the term selection, and we give any number of reasons why we don’t put certain books in our collection, but we never call it censorship,” said Will Manley, who has authored several books on library science and worked as a librarian in Galesburg, Illinois, and Tempe City, Arizona.



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