Intellectual Freedom for Teens: A Practical Guide for Young Adult & School Librarians

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews
Year after year a majority of the titles on ALA's Banned Books list, which compiles titles threatened with censorship, are either YA books or adult books that are frequently read by teens. It's important for YA librarians to understand the types of challenges occurring in libraries around the nation and to be ready to deal with such challenges when they occur. The Young Adult Library Services (YALSA) has tailored this book specifically for these situations, providing much-needed guidance on the highly charged topic of intellectual freedom for teens. Among the issues addressed are
  • How to prepare yourself and your staff for potential challenges by developing a thoughtful selection policy and response plan
  • Resources for help when a challenge occurs
  • The art of crafting a defense for a challenged book, and pointers for effectively disseminating your response through the press and social media
  • The latest on intellectual freedom in the digital realm, including an examination of library technology
Using examples of censorship battles in both school and public libraries to illustrate possible scenarios, this guidebook gives YA librarians the foreknowledge and support to ensure intellectual freedom for teens. 



Introduction - Mary K. Chelton

Chapter 1: Intellectual Freedom and Young Adult Librarianship: An Overview

Chapter 2: Before a Challenge Occurs: How to Prepare Yourself and Your Staff - Kristin Fletcher-Spear

Chapter 3: What to Do When a Challenge Happens to You - Kelly Tyler

Chapter 4: Intellectual Freedom: Programming and Marketing - Karen Jensen

Chapter 5: Access if the Digital World - Linda Braun


Appendix A: Most Challenged YA Books, 2006-2011
Appendix B: The Value of Young Adult Literature
Appendix C: YALSA's Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth: Young Adults Deserve the Best
Appendix D: Current Research Related to Young Adult Services, 2006-2009: A Supplement Compiled by the YALSA Research Committee
Appendix E: Interpretations for ALA's Library Bill of Rights


Kristin Fletcher-Spear

Kristin Fletcher-Spear is the administrative librarians at the Foothills Branch Library in Glendale, Arizona. She is coauthor of the Library Collections for Teens: Manga and Graphic Novels and has written for YALSA, VOYA, and Library Media Connection. She earned her master's degree in library science at Indiana University.

Kelly Tyler

Kelly Tyler is the branch manager for the Van Nuys Branch at the Los Angeles Public Library. Prior to becoming a supervisor, she worked as a youth services librarian and was a mentor and trainer for new teen librarians. This is her first book.

"Both a superb argument against censorship and a practical guide for librarians on how to encourage a community to support a library's role in a democratic society ... this is an important book highly recommended for librarians, especially those tasked with selecting books and media for children and young adults."
— Catholic Library World

"Essential reading for Young Adult (YA) librarians or those studying towards this career ... It is concise, readable and filled with incredibly useful information."
— Australian Library Journal

"Every librarian will want to be sure they have this reliable, invaluable resource within reach ... It is a calm, collected guide—gentle, yet firm in its mission."

"Thorough and thought-provoking. It will be very useful to librarians working with teen patrons, including those in public library and school media settings. Academic librarians working with teacher preparation programs and library schools will also find this book relevant."
— Reference Reviews

"What is intellectual freedom? How should librarians handle access to information involving young adults? What do you do when library materials are challenged? Does intellectual freedom include Internet access and materials? These are just a few of the questions and scenarios that are clearly and concisely addressed within this incredibly useful publication ... An excellent addition to any professional collection and a must-read for those new to librarianship."
— School Library Journal