Censorship and Selection Essay

Censorship and Selection Essay

Length: 1604 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Censorship is a dirty word to information professionals. Attempts by individuals or groups to restrict the public from reading, hearing or viewing certain materials due to their content, is enough to send librarian's and organizations such as the American Library Association, to the proverbial battle field. However, information professionals from all fields have to make choices about what to include and what not to include in their particular library's collection. How are these selections made? What causes one item to be selected instead of another? The distinction between censorship and selection is infinitesimal, dependent mainly upon the role of the individuals involved. As an information professional, who inherently is charged with the responsibility to protect the rights of the public to have free access to materials, much care must be taken in the selection of materials. By evaluating the collections, by carefully examining what deeply held beliefs we have, and by carefully adhering to selection policies, information professionals can guard against allowing personal bias influencing selection decisions.
What Is Censorship?
Censorship can take many forms, but it inherently leads to an individual or group attempting to restrict access to materials. Jenkinson (2002) defines a censor as someone who “begins with a list of negatives or 'no-no's' and then seeks to identify whether any of these 'taboo' words, subjects, themes or attitudes are present in an item” (p. 22). Irregardless of the context, a censor then seeks to either have the item removed, or not acquired at all. (Jenkinson, 2002, p. 22). Censorship can take place in a visible manner, such as a parent or group challenging a book. However, a far more...

... middle of paper ...


Hill, R. (2010). The problem of self-censorship. School Library Journal. (27)2. p. 9-12.

Kidd, K. (2009). “Not Censorship but Selection”: Censorship and/as prizing. Children's Literature in Education, 40(3), 197-216. doi:10.1007/s10583-008-9078-4

Mazer, Norma Fox. (1997). Shhhh! The ALAN Review. (24)2, 46-48. Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/winter97/w97-10-Censorship.html

McMenemy, D.  (2008). Selection and censorship: librarians and their collections. Library Review, 57(5), 341-344.  doi: 1497848431

Staples, S. (1996). What Johnny Can't Read. The ALAN Review. (23)2, n.p. Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/winter96/pubCONN.html

Van Kampen, Doris J., and Rose Spino. 2007. "Issues in the retention and selection of materials: Censorship and self-selection." Catholic Library World 77(3), 222-225.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Censorship and Material Selection Policies

- ... Certain words are inappropriate for such a young audience, but as a child gets older, reading a word in context from the point of view of someone else can be less intimidating. They get used to particular things being said. Promoting student power in the choice of high school literature can prove uncomfortable, wild, and touchy. Without the right amount of preparation, research, and reading, teachers may find language, content, and themes to be more mature than they really wanted. Young adults’ choices in literature can make teachers cringe at the very thought....   [tags: freedom, books, language]

Powerful Essays
865 words (2.5 pages)

Censorship in Schools Essay example

- Censorship in Schools There has recently been a renewed interest and passion in the issue of censorship. In the realm of the censorship of books in schools alone, several hundred cases have surfaced each year for nearly the past decade. Controversies over which books to include in the high school English curriculum present a clash of values between teachers, school systems, and parents over what is appropriate for and meaningful to students. It is important to strike a balance between English that is meaningful to students by relating to their lives and representing diversity and satisfying worries about the appropriateness of what is read....   [tags: Censorship Censoring Literature Books Essays]

Powerful Essays
3744 words (10.7 pages)

Censorship Should NOT be Placed on Books Essay

- Censorship Should NOT be Placed on Books      "Censorship... a system under which official censors must give permission before communications of a specified type can lawfully be made" (Wilgoren, 1). Recently censorship has become a major problem in our society. Censorship should not be banned on books. People should not be told they cannot read a book. Unfortunately history has shown that words can be used for ill as well as for good, to destroy lives as well as to enhance them. (Steffens, 9) Words and reading them gives us a better understanding of other peoples views....   [tags: Censorship Censors]

Powerful Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Censorship and Book Banning Essay

- Censorship is a concept with several different meanings. To each individual censorship has its own meaning. Is it a violation of our rights or is it a protection for our well being. Censorship in the generic sense refers to the suppression of information, ideas, or opinions. It occurs in all forms of communication from technological media to print media. Each society, culture, or individual's belief is violated by the codes of censorship that our society instills. Book banning is a prime target for censorship....   [tags: Censorship Essays]

Powerful Essays
1822 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on A School Board's Control Over Teacher's Book Selections

- The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Color Purple are three novels that are considered classics, and in some school districts these books and others could also be considered inappropriate. Within these school districts not only are the books regulated but also the teachers’ choices of such books. This regulation of teachers has been established throughout the years through court cases and within multiple school districts. Teachers’ book choices and lesson plans are regulated in result of representation of the government, allowing students a neutral learning environment and following the curriculum established within the school district....   [tags: Censorship]

Powerful Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

The Effect of Shared Culture of Journalists on the Selection and Presentation of News

- The Effect of Shared Culture of Journalists on the Selection and Presentation of News News is formed through a selective process which is controlled by media professionals such as journalists correspondents and editors. Agenda setting, a theory created by Stephen Lukes, sees how journalistrs select news that is projected through the media. Agenda setting also sees bias in the media, which is most commenly dominated in the political broadcasts. The Glasgowuniversity media group agree with the use of agenda setting in the media and use it in their research....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
734 words (2.1 pages)

Essay Is Censorship on the Internet a Real Possibility?

- “In the face of ongoing revelations about extensive snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA), censorship abroad may seem like yesterday’s problem. These revelations are troubling, but there is a broader array of threats to internet freedom around the world, and those threats are extensive and are growing” (Calingaert 1). The internet has become a vital part of modern society in the past 20 years, and on the World Wide Web, anything goes. It is one of the last places free from laws and government control ¬̶ well, at least for some....   [tags: NSA, limitlesss source of information]

Powerful Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

Internet Censorship Preserves Cultural Values Essay examples

- Internet Censorship preserves cultural values in the UAE It is undeniable that the Internet has played a vital role in shaping communities and transforming worldviews. It has been a tool for communication across languages and cultures, bridging gaps among races and an avenue for sharing knowledge and experience. Interestingly, this is the very reason why Internet usage has been controlled and subjected to close supervision by the government in many countries such as China, North Korea and even the UAE....   [tags: Internet, Communication, Control, China]

Powerful Essays
1514 words (4.3 pages)

Censorship in America Essay

- Censorship in America Since this country was founded, we have had a set of unalienable rights that our constitution guarantees us to as Americans. One of the most important rights that is mentioned in our constitution is the right to free speech. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” These are the exact words used by our country’s forefathers when they made these amendments in the late 1700’s....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Music Censorship Essay

- Music Censorship The tall, lanky fifteen-year-old ambled slowly up to the counter and tossed his music selection toward the clerk. The salesman began to ring the sale up in his routine manner, but just then something caught his eye. It was a small black sticker on the corner of the CD. This sticker plainly read "explicit lyrics." As the teenager fumbled through his pockets searching for a method of payment, the clerk gave him a questioning glance. "Could I see some identification please?" The clerk's voice cut through the silence like a knife through butter....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)