The event was held online on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
Sessions were not recorded; please see below for related documents and presentations.
This virtual half-day conference discussed various issues and occurrences surrounding books being banned or challenged.
Schedule of events:
9 am: Welcome & Introductions
9:05 am: Keynote: John Piche, Outreach Librarian for Heights Libraries in Cleveland, OH: “Defending Discussions: the 1619 Project”
10:15 am: Concurrent breakout sessions
11:00 am: ALA Presentation: Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: “The Best Defense.”
“Defending Discussions : the 1619 Project“
Defending 1619 Project Handout
John Piche, Outreach Librarian for Heights Libraries in Cleveland, OH
The August 2019 publication in the New York Times Magazine, the 1619 Project, almost immediately generated strong opinions. Praise was followed by strong criticismbecause the 1619 Project sought to reframe the legacy of slavery as the dominant factor in American political, cultural, and social spheres. After many customers expressed interest in the Project, Heights Libraries launched a 1619 Project Discussion group. The program became one of the Library’s most popular programs, and just like the 1619 Project itself, the program faced a wide variety of challenges. From Letters to the Editor and social media campaigns calling for the end of the program to managing unexpected turnout and program logistics, program lead John Piche’ will discuss these issues and how they were resolved.
“The Best Defense”
Office for Intellectual Freedom Website
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, American Library Association
Even as librarians strive to provide their communities with diverse resources and work to ensure that the library is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone in the community, there is a growing movement to censor diverse materials using a number of strategies, including legislation. This presentation will describe these contemporary efforts to censor library materials and how to proactively respond by adopting policies that protect the library users’ right to receive information and the librarian’s right to provide books and other resources that meet library users’ information needs. The discussion will provide an overview of the legal principles that support these policies.
“Unbanning the Banned Books”
Morgan Strand, Nyack Library
Tracy Dunstan, Nyack Library
Rosemary Farrell, Nyack Library
Banned Books week is more than just bookmarks and flyers. Learn how the Nyack Library has created exciting and engaging year-round programming that exposes patrons young and old to these challenged books.
“What’s Got ’em All Riled Up Anyway?”
Kathryn Pew, Manor ISD, Texas Library Association
Strategies for Deescalating Book Challenge Emotions and Avoiding Drama
This will be a combination of presentation and audience participation. Through self-management of our own emotions and by validating the emotions of others and taking steps to address fears in a constructive manner, many negative out-of-control situations related to book challenges can be avoided. Case studies, audience analysis and role plays will be incorporated.
“Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: Teaching Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties to Adolescents”
Alexis McBride, Assistant Professor of Education at MSMC
Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and a finalist for the National Book Award, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties has nonetheless been named on lists of banned books in school districts across the US. What is it about this collection of 8 short stories that has elicited such a fearful reception? Machado’s rendering of womanhood, infused with both a science fiction and fantastical lens, also incorporates a trauma-informed perspective that could potentially prove useful for adolescent instruction. Through highly evocative prose, Machado’s text lays the groundwork for discussions involving sexual violence and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This session will explore suggested procedures for using Machado’s text with high school learners, as well as thoughtful ways to integrate the broader themes of the text into productive class discussions.
“NYS School Library Systems Respond to Challenges”
Brian Mayer, School Library System @ Erie 2 BOCES
Penny Sweeney, School Library System @ Cayuga Onondaga BOCES
Jim Belair, Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES
Ginger Tebo, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES
Book challenges are on the rise in NYS school libraries. Learn what the NYS School Library Systems Association (SLSA), in collaboration with individual school library systems, the NYS Library, and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), are doing to respond to challenges. SLSA members will share examples of a current district challenge process, challenged library books data collection, an asynchronous collection development/reconsideration workshop, DEI collections, statewide updates to board policies, and the creation of a day of dialogue around the policies, laws, and professional considerations of supporting a diverse and representative collection.
Code of Conduct
The Banned Books Symposium:
- Supports an open exchange of ideas within a safe and respectful environment, free from all forms of harassment, including those based on gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, health status, race, age, class, citizenship, veteran status, religion, or beliefs.
- Offers a space of learning for our community by welcoming and respecting individuals from all professions and with all levels of education and experience.
The following types of harassment are prohibited and may include, but are not limited to:
- Abusive, derogatory, or sexual, verbal comments, slurs, epithets, and/or discriminatory images in public and online spaces;
- Threats or acts of violence;
- Intimidation or stalking;
- Harassing photography or recording;
- Purposeful or repeated acts of misgendering; and/or,
- Sustained verbal disruption of talks or other events.
Violators of this code of conduct will be notified of the violation and removed from the learning space.
If you believe there has been a violation of the code of conduct during a session, alert a planning committee member immediately or contact the committee via firstname.lastname@example.org.