What the Shelves Aren't Saying
An Exploration of Self-censorship in High School Libraries
Keywords:Censorship, School Libraries, self-censorship
Censorship attempts in libraries have been occurring since the 1850s, with variations in frequency (Steele, 2020). Recently, school libraries in America have experienced a significant increase in censorship attempts, particularly around books about BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ issues and experiences (ALA, 2021). Efforts range from Texas politicians’ inquiries and accusations about school library collections to individual citizens and private groups nationwide flooding libraries with book challenges. Not all attempts to censor, however, are external; some acts of censorship occur as perceived preventative measures. Fear of a potential challenge can sometimes result in a librarian self-censoring when developing the collection (Hill, 2010).
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