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Intellectual Freedom News

Books challenged in area libraries

2 March 1989


The article starts off with describing numerous books that have been banned over the years. A recent vote from the Washington County Commission rejected the ALA’s “Freedom to Read” and “Library Bill of Rights”. These doctrines are guidelines for libraries to use when they are selecting materials to purchase for their collections. They also provide criteria that can be used when a book is challenged. The authors state that between May 1987 and June 1988 there were 17 challenges to books in Oregon libraries. In September a patron of Tigard public library challenged Paul Lowen’s “Butterfly” due to explicit sex and extreme cruelty. The board voted 5-1 to keep the book on its shelves. The lone oppose, Jane Miller, voted against to make a point about fiscal responsibility. She asked why libraries are wasting money on books like these when they could be spending money on good books. The rest of the article describes the challenges of two other books. Marian English, board member, said that out of 38 books that were banned, only two of them are now restricted. She said it is an ongoing battle.


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