Next week the American Library Association and the AISL Secondary Library celebrate Banned Book Week, an annual event designed to celebrate the freedom to read. It is also a week that draws attention to banned and challenged books. The intellectual freedom that is a hallmark of our school and others like it is something we often take for granted. Interestingly, one of the books that is in the Top 11 Challenged & Banned books of 2018 is Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give (2017). Last year, when our students voted for the top YA book in our library for our first ever Leopard's Eye Book Award, this was resoundingly their first choice.
At AISL, our library staff chooses books using the best selection tools available (such as School Library Journal, awards lists, and other publications) with a view to subject matters and themes that will resonate with our readers. We strive to uphold the Access to Library Resources & Services for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights as set forth by The American Library Association. We also select books for their ability to enrich & support our curriculum (see our Selection Policy for more information on this). We believe that books serve as both windows and mirrors: windows that give us insights into other ways of life and a diverse range of experiences, which is a valuable way to develop empathy. Books also serve as mirrors: the reader can find aspects of his or her own life reflected in that story and as a result, feel less alone or feel validated. We strive to develop a collection that is diverse, engaging, and relevant to our students.
As we develop our collection, we are also mindful of our international context. Every family has its own set of values and its unique cultural background that enriches our school. Yet, what may be a perfectly acceptable book for the child of one family to read may be deemed inappropriate by the family of another child to due to differing values and cultures. Parents are always the final arbiters of what their child may or may not read, though that does not mean limiting the range of choice available to other patrons. Our library staff makes every effort to help students select books they will enjoy that are appropriate for that child’s grade level and interests, but conversations within the student’s family matter most.
Feel welcome to come by and browse & add to our interactive displays celebrating Banned Book Week and take a book (or more!) home. If you are interested, here is a short video (2:22 minutes long) called The Top 11 Challenged Books of 2018 (made by The American Library Association & Office for Intellectual Freedom).
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Click on the 'Newrest' icon below to download the app and order from the menu: