Victory in sight!11 April 2012
I received a follow-up email today from the librarian in Wyoming who had been challenged by a parent who demanded the withdrawal of Lord Loss from the bookshelves (see my blog of February 3rd for the full story).
We had our third committee meeting yesterday concerning the book challenge. This committee was comprised of the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum for our school district, the Director of Instruction for our school district, the Language Arts Coordinator for our school district, the Associate Principal for our school, two students from our school, a 5th and 6th grade teacher from two Elementary Schools in our district, a Librarian from one of the High Schools in our district, and 2 parents with kids from various schools in our district. The meeting lasted about an hour with everyone telling of their role in the district as well as their input about the book. We had multiple Librarians from schools in our district, the Young Adult Librarian from our county Library, as well as the parent challenging the book, in our audience. The 11 people on the committee voted unanimously to keep the book in our school library. The parent has the option to take his challenge to the last level, which is the Superintendent of our school district. We will let you know if he takes it to the last level. At this point, your book, Lord Loss, is still safe and able to be checked out by our students.
I was delighted when I read this. It was so heartening to find so many people ready to stand up and argue the book's case. Although at the same time I felt it was a shame than one lone parent could create this much of a fuss -- in an ideal world, I think librarians should have the power to stock their shelves with the books that they deem fit. A good librarian will have studied hard, worked hard, and spent a lot of time talking with and listening to and helping shape the minds of a huge variety of children, and their judgement should be trusted. While every parent should of course have the right to question a librarian's judgement, I don't think they should have the right to openly challenge it, especially not if they're in the vast minority, and especially if it's a one-off case. But, that being said, it was great to see democracy at work, and the various forces of reason and commonsense banding together to reject the bullying parent who had been trying to make the system bend to his wishes. I just hope now that the Superintendent -- if the parent chooses to push this all the way -- respects the voices of all the people who have spoken up in support of Lord Loss, rather than the loud-mouthed agitator who (without even reading it) has demanded its withdrawl. Long live the democratic process!!!!!