It is very intriguing to me that as we are discussing the concept of intellectual freedom within the context of the ethics of librarianship in my course, the Forest of Reading (I would put in a registered symbol here if I could figure it out) is coming under attack once again for books on the list. In 2006 it was Three Wishes: Israeli and Palestinian Children Speak. This year it is The Shepherd's Granddaughter that is attracting attention. In 2006 the Canadian Jewish Congress declared that Three Wishes was age inappropriate. Now it is B'nai B'rith declaring that The Shepherd's Granddaughter promotes hatred and should be removed from the Red Maple reading list.
I stand in horror at this. How are children supposed to form opinions, question ideas and become critical consumers of information if they are constantly being limited in what information, ideas and concepts they can access? How does trying to control access to ideas different from those you hold dear then ensure that your ideas are made accessible to others and your voice is being heard? It is a two way street, and you cannot support censorship unless you are also prepared to be censored yourself.
Ironically, it has been my experience that these type of attacks only serve to create a greater demand for the books being questioned in the long run.
Still it stuns me every time.
B'nai B'rith press release:http://www.bnaibrith.ca/prdisplay.php?id=1646
Toronto Star Report: http://www.parentcen...ed-and-violence
notes from the edge 21
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