Sunday, November 18, 2012

Censorship and Self-Censorship of “Fifty Shades of Grey”

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) recently added a blog post entitled Fifty Shades of Grey: Why Should We Care About a “Bad” Book?. Barbara Jones, the Executive Director of FTRF, discusses why we should resist attempts to ban materials that censors do not consider to have “literary quality.” The book “Fifty Shades of Grey” is used as an example in examining librarians’ professional values and practices as well as in thinking about the larger economic context. See the article for one librarian's thought-provoking view on book quality and censorship.

Barbara Jones has also written an article for the American Libraries Magazine on library self-censorship. Controversy in Fifty Shades of Grey discusses how collection development policies have been used by libraries to censor controversial material such as “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Though we are typically concerned with outside censorship, self-censorship is a related issue that we should reflect on as library and information professionals.

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