aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

The Love That Dares Not be Put on a Shelf

School Library Journal has an interesting article about self-censorship. School librarians only have so many dollars at their disposal. They can't buy every book. So how often does self-censorship factor in: librarians choosing not to buy a book that they feel might lead to parental challenges and protests?

"In the first survey of its kind, School Library Journal (SLJ) recently asked 655 media specialists about their collections and found that 70 percent of librarians say they won’t buy certain controversial titles simply because they’re terrified of how parents will respond. Other common reasons for avoiding possible troublemakers include potential backlash from the administration (29 percent), the community (29 percent), or students (25 percent), followed by 23 percent of librarians who say they won’t purchase a book due to personal objections."

Librarians "tend to be skittish about book purchases for obvious reasons. Sexual content ranks number one, with 87 percent of those surveyed by SLJ saying it’s the main reason they shy away from buying a book. Objectionable language (61 percent) comes in second, followed by violence (51 percent), homosexual themes (47 percent), racism (34 percent), and religion (16 percent)."

Read more here.

I chose to self-sensor a tiny bit with the paperback of Shock Point, after a middle school student in Texas raised his hand at a school visit and asked me why I used "the b word." When I thought about it, the word wasn't needed. The book was suspensful enough whether or not the bad guys said it. So I asked that it be taken out.

The series I'm writing with Lis Wiehl is for Thomas Nelson, so it is squeaky clean. Characters can't even say "Jeez," let alone "the f word." It's frankly more of a problem to think of how a bad guy would talk in those books and not swear.



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