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I know many people on this list are concerned about whether or not they are 
censoring or selecting books for their library.  We all are censors if you 
want to be correct.  Unless you have an unlimited budget and space to buy 
every book out there, you are censoring.  However, as librarians we prefer 
to call what we do selection.  And we do try to get books that are 
appropriate for our individual situations. We should not be condemned for 
doing our jobs.  How do I decide what to do with books that may be 
controversial to some in my own little world, but not others?  I can't 
always exclude a book because someone might be upset.  All books will upset 
someone.  My rule of thumb is that I will not put a book on the shelf that I 
am not willing to defend.  I'm lucky because I am the librarian for PreK-12. 
  Sometimes I buy a book thinking it will work in 5th grade, but when it 
comes in I realize that it won't, but will work for middle schoolers.  I 
have the luxury of putting the book there, instead of calling it a mistake.  
I've even had a couple books over the years that I realized I didn't want in 
my library at all, and I took them to the public library.

I guess my point is that most of the reason for censorship/selection 
discussion is because we don't want the hassle of being challenged.  
Unfortunately, challenges will probably arise.  If I'm not willing to defend 
a book myself, perhaps I need to rethink where I've put it in my library.

Janet Perry, Prek-12 Librarian
Cerro Gordo CUSD 100, Cerro Gordo, IL

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