Check Your Shelf

“They Can Choose Not to Come”

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. I’m sad to say that the toilet situation at my library has not improved, and in fact has gotten worse. An excellent way to knock me down a couple pegs and remind me I still have a LOT to learn about this director business.

Also, brace yourselves, because this is one of the longest banned books sections I’ve ever had to compile.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Baker & Taylor has been almost completely inoperable for a week and a half due to a ransomware attack.

The Biden administration announces a historic open-access policy for taxpayer-funded research.

Book Adaptations in the News

Production of Lady in the Lake has been paused after several unnamed people approached members of the crew, allegedly saying that they would shoot someone if production didn’t shut down or pay them $50,000.

Ewan McGregor is starring in the adaptation of A Gentleman in Moscow.

Elin Hilderbrand’s The Perfect Couple is being adapted into a limited series.

Neve Campbell is headlining the ABC series adaptation of Avalon by Michael Connelly.

Casting update for Dark Matter.

Take a peek at the trailer for My Best Friend’s Exorcism!

Trailer for White Noise, based on the book by Don DeLillo. Or as I’m now referring to it, “What the hell did they do to Adam Driver’s hair?!”

A guide to all of the Taylor Jenkins Reid film and TV adaptations.

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Banned & Challenged Books

Fox News is providing a primer for parents on how to fight their school and library boards and have books removed.

Here’s a look at the states that have enacted book ban laws.

Listen to Kelly Jensen speak to PBS NewsHour about how the censorship wars and debates around parental rights are affecting local school board races.

The majority of efforts to ban books in Texas schools have come from one politician and GOP pressure – not parents.

“I won’t be silenced:” North Texans testify in Congress about censorship in education.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Conroe ISD (TX) regarding recent policies that remove “obscene” materials from libraries.

Dawson Middle School (TX), which is named after George Dawson, the grandson of an enslaved person, has deemed Dawson’s autobiography inappropriate for 7th grade students.

Belton Middle School (TX) students explain their support for their school librarian, who is being pressured to remove her banned book display. You can see the librarian’s viral TikTok video here.

A Pearland ISD (TX) trustee expressed concerns about specific library materials, stating “There are books that I would like to see removed, and I’d like to see a policy in which we don’t have a road that we go down where we have to have this conversation again.”

Fort Bend ISD (TX) has removed Gender Queer from school libraries and is reviewing several others after receiving complaints from parents.

Keller ISD (TX) backtracks its initial decision to remove the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary from school libraries, as well as the Bible. However, there are still around 40 books that need to be reviewed, and the school board president says that 10-15 of those titles will probably never be put back on library shelves.

Humble ISD (TX) parents form a group to remove “dirty books” from school libraries.

A Katy ISD (TX) police officer temporarily removed the book Flamer from a high school library after a woman filed a criminal complaint against the school. Meanwhile, some Katy ISD parents think that more should be done to restrict which books are available to students.

The punishment given to Tulsa (OK) Public Schools for allegedly violating a critical race theory restriction is being used to challenge the law.

This Oklahoma teacher provided her students with a QR code to the Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books Unbanned” site, and was then almost immediately put on administrative leave.

Stillwater, Oklahoma parents are demanding that the district remove specific books with sexual material, including The Truth About Alice, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

A judge blocks DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE Act,” saying Florida feels like a “First Amendment Upside Down.” Yes, the Upside Down. Like in Stranger Things.

Duval County Public Schools (FL) bought dozens of new books that are now sitting indefinitely in storage.

For all the hoopla in Polk County (FL) around letting parents opt out of letting their children have access to controversial materials, less than 1% of parents have used this option.

A Pensacola (FL) teacher resigned after pictures of Black leaders were allegedly removed from his bulletin board by a school employee.

Collier County Public Schools (FL) have placed warning labels on books that discuss race and LGBTQ issues. Meanwhile, the superintendent has halted book purchases to keep media specialists “safe.”

A judge has dismissed the lawsuit against the Sarasota School Board (FL) over alleged sexual content in libraries.

Livingston Parish Council (LA) passes a resolution to ask libraries to restrict access to some books.

Paywall: A virtual LGBTQ+ lecture has been rescheduled at the University of Louisiana after a cyber attack of racial and homophobic slurs.

A Louisiana librarian is being threatened for creating LGBTQ book displays.

Book disputes land a suburban Atlanta school district in court. I’m paywalled from this article but I have some MAJOR problems with the lead photo for this article – it positions the people who are pushing to remove books as some kind of educational superheroes.

Mothers behind a Georgia book-banning campaign claim their First Amendment rights are being violated. The cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics here…I just can’t.

Seven of the eight books initially removed from Forsyth County (GA) school libraries have been approved for return. The seven books include Looking for Alaska, L8r, g8r, Me Earl and the Dying Girl, Nineteen Minutes, Out of Darkness, The Bluest Eye, and The Infinite Moment of Us. All Boys Aren’t Blue will stay off library shelves.

A Maryland judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Education’s policy to not out trans children to their families.

Newly elected Tennessee attorney general suggests prosecuting librarians for “inappropriate” books.

Collierville Schools (TN) is under scrutiny for pulling over 300 books from school libraries. Here is a list of the books pulled and ranked based on their LGBTQ+ content.

An LGBTQ+ back-to-school festival at the Fayetteville Public Library (AR) has been canceled due to safety concerns.

Missouri schools are pulling books from libraries after a new law criminalizing “sexually explicit” material goes into effect.

Kearney Public Schools (NE) issued a public statement in response to comments made by former Senate candidate Matt Innis, saying that the school has a responsibility to serve its LGBTQ students.

A new policy would give the North Platte (NE) school superintendent the last word on pulling library items.

A letter addressed to the Logan, Iowa library board asked them not to put any books on display in the children’s section that “portray homosexuality and LGBTQ in a positive manner.”

The Iowa State Board of Education has rejected a request to remove Gender Queer from Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines.

The books that the Rapid City (SD) School Board had originally slated for destruction are now sitting in limbo, and two of the titles are now missing.

Hancock (MI) Public Schools is still discussing the removal of a Pride Month book display in June.

The Davison (MI) school board unanimously elects to remove eight books from the middle and high school media centers.

Nora Roberts donates $50K to the Patmos Library (MI) which was defunded for its refusal to remove LGBTQ books.

LGBTQ+ books at the center of library controversies in Michigan and Iowa.

“They can choose not to come:” Downer’s Grove Library (IL) responds to criticism of drag-themed bingo night. Another choice quote from the article: “We have spent significantly more taxpayer money in staff time responding to feedback about the event than we will be spending on the event itself.”

The Cadott (WI) School District elected to return several previously banned books to library shelves.

This Ohio librarian is seeking to defeat a book banner where it counts – at the ballot box.

Dayton (OH) library director shares information about how the library selects books for the collection.

Buxton-based School Board (ME) is considering whether or not to remove books about sexuality and gender identity from the school libraries.

School board elects to remove Gender Queer from the Dirigo High School library (ME).

Several members of Congress have written a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty about their concerns over school library materials.

The Pennridge (PA) school board could limit student expression, employee “advocacy,” and books.

Central Bucks School District (PA) passes another policy targeting inappropriate content in textbooks and supplemental instructional materials.

A Neo-Nazi gathering causes Boston drag queen Patty Bourrée to cancel a planned story hour in Seaport.

An op-ed about how the culture wars will affect the coming school year in Connecticut.

“My brain, my books, my choice:” Advocates in Catawba County (NC) say the campaign to ban books from the school district is a campaign of exclusion.

One couple describes their process to have LGBTQ books removed from the Alamance-Burlington School System (NC), saying it’s part of a larger goal to have LGBTQ books removed from schools in the entire state.

South Carolina State Senator Josh Kimbrell called on Spartanburg County Public Libraries to move books about sexual identity from the children’s section to the adult section, saying that the books are inappropriate for children. He has also threatened to defund the libraries that do not remove these books.

Horry County (SC) School Board bans CRT despite it not being taught in classrooms.

A judge has tossed both Virginia obscenity cases and struck down the existing state law that made the cases possible, calling the law “unconstitutional.”

Policies that notify Virginia parents of sexually explicit content in school materials are on the way.

Virginia Beach School Board fielded comments on “pornographic” materials being made available in school libraries and classrooms.

Chesterfield County Public Schools (VA) elect to keep Beyond Magenta on school shelves.

Madison County Schools (MS) remove 10 books from general library circulation.

A member of the St. Mary’s (KS) city council has proposed that the city prevent the library from providing “explicit sexual, racially or socially divisive material,” and supporting anything that promotes “the LGBTQ+ ideology or practice” or critical race theory in any form.”

With book bans surging nationwide, Eagle County (CO) is not untouched.

The ACLU of Idaho is demanding documents that were excluded from their initial public records request.

Meridian (ID) residents overwhelmingly testify in support of their library.

Conservative activists want to remove 400 books from the Boundary County Library in Idaho, but the library doesn’t even own the books.

Mead School Board (WA) Director Michael Cannon says that he was surprised that his proposals to limit the discussion of critical race theory and gender identity in schools generated so much controversy. Seriously?

British Columbia trustees call for police reports against their fellow trustees who support LGBTQ+ books.

The backlash against Drag Queen Story Hour in the UK.

Researchers did a deep dive into efforts to restrict critical race theory in schools. Here’s what they found.

A public school librarian on book bans.

How to stand up against book challenges.

Here are the most banned and challenged comics since 2000.

Books & Authors in the News

Val McDermid has received a legal threat for using the phrase “Queen of Crime,” which has been trademarked by Agatha Christie’s estate.

Taylor Swift is being sued by poet and author Teresa La Dart, who claims that Swift stole the design of La Dart’s 2010 book Lover for the book accompanying Swift’s 2019 album of the same name.

Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming book 2000 Mules, has been abruptly postponed due to an undisclosed “publishing error.” The book is based on a film that makes widely debunked claims regarding 2020 election fraud.


(phew) Need something funny? This Twitter thread of suggested Jeopardy topics for librarians is hilarious.

Numbers & Trends

Gen Z is driving romance sales to the top of the bestseller lists.

Award News

Tess Gunty’s The Rabbit Hutch is the winner of Waterstone’s inaugural debut fiction prize.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia has created a new set of awards judged by 2,000 children around the country.

The Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize longlist has been announced.

Pop Cultured

A first look at Glass Onion, the sequel to Knives Out.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Pass this along to your Louise Penny fans…there’s an upcoming fan e-newsletter called Notes From Three Pines that will examine all things Louise Penny and Inspector Gamache!

On the Riot

Star Wars books and series that deserve their own adaptations.

Some of the most controversial book opinions.

black and white cat laying on its back getting its stomach brushed

Please enjoy this photo of a Very Good Boi getting his tummy brushed. Dini doesn’t always sit still when we brush him, but when he does, it’s cuteness overload!

Please enjoy the long weekend, and again, don’t take your functioning toilets for granted. I’ll see you next week.

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.