The Fight Against Book Bans: Perspectives from the Field

Bloomsbury Libraries Unlimited: Bloomsbury Academic. Jun. 2023. 256p. ed. by Shannon M. Oltmann. ISBN 9781440879760. pap. $60.95. PRO MEDIA
It’s not news to anyone working in the library field that book bans, book challenges, and censorship are currently hot topics of discussion. Librarians facing these issues directly or indirectly may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and isolated. This perspectives compilation, edited by University of Kentucky SIS professor and Library Quarterly associate editor Oltmann (Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries), offers a wide spectrum of resources for school and public librarians. The book is divided by themes, within which the chapters are a mix of research and personal experience. Readers will meet librarians who have faced book challenges and won, done the same and lost, and been part of preemptive consideration efforts. There are also essays by people working more generally on intellectual freedom issues. Each chapter helpfully includes both a reference list and an index of book titles discussed in that chapter. The book is easy to read straight through or to dip into as needed by a librarian or advocate seeking specifics.
VERDICT This title is highly recommended for people seeking information on how to address book challenges and increase advocacy efforts, as well as anyone working in libraries facing censorship who needs to know they aren’t alone.
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