And Tango Makes Three…Seriously?!

Should I or should I not delve in the dark world or censorship? I’ve finally decided that my experiences need to be made known. If it helps at least one librarian, my trials and tribulations will not be in vain.

It all started a few years ago in September. The school year had started smoothly until I received an email from a librarian at an elementary school in my district. A school employee had heard about a book on a radio broadcast and wanted to have it removed from the library due to the subject matter. The “offensive” book was And Tango Makes Three.  Th0se of us in the children’s lit. trenches are well-acquainted with the book since it has received much press since it was published.

Back to the story at hand…the principal was approached by the school employee, agreed with said employee and told the librarian to remove it from the collection. Well…as any good librarian would know, this could not be done because school board policy was not followed. Papers need to be filled out and a committee needed to read the book and make a recommendation based on the findings. A book cannot be removed just based on one person’s opinion and the judgement of the principal.

Little did we know that the same problem was coming to light at another elementary school in the district. The disgruntled school employee’s spouse worked in the other building and also asked that the book be removed. However, that spouse went to the librarian first and was getting the necessary paperwork to fill out.

Oh, but wait…it gets better. In the meantime, back at the administration building, the principals were having a regular principal’s meeting (their timing was impecccable). They decided, as elementary principals, that the book would be removed from all elementary libraries in the district. Done deal. Let’s not even tell the K-12 Library Media Coordinator (me!). The superintendant okay’d it, and the job was done. The principals let their librarian’s know that afternoon. All of this took place in approximately 3 days.

To be continued…

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Filed under Censorship, Librarianship, Rural Library, School Library

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