This 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.
At our school, our library staff chooses books using the best selection tools available and with a view to subject matters and themes that will resonate with our readers. 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 in that books 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 bits 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.
Yet as we do this, we must also be mindful of our international context. This means that every family will bring its own set of values and its unique cultural background to school. What may be a perfectly acceptable book to read for the child of one family may be deemed inappropriate for a child to read by a different family. We see parents as 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 it is always conversations within the student’s family that matter most.
Feel welcome to come by and browse & add to our interactive displays during this week and take a book (or more!) home. Celebrate having the freedom to choose what you want to read and the writers who create these stories. If you are interested, here is a short video (3 minutes long) called The Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017 (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.
Parent Information Sessions
Here are the upcoming sessions – all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend: