Thursday, March 10, 2011

Toronto Public Library's Book Challenges for 2010

A recent article, "Shelf Life: How the Toronto Public Library Deals with Complaints," was published in the National Post.

Last year, seven items in Toronto Public Library's collection were challenged. This year, the number was almost the same at just nine items. The good news is that no classics were challenged this year. Perhaps the most interesting challenge was to a self-published book on being a Chartered Financial Analyst. It ended up being the only item removed from the collection due to “numerous grammatical and typographical mistakes.”

Other challenges were to:
  • Swans in the Mist, young adult fiction which the patron said contained “sadistic scenes” and “might give teens violent ideas.” -retained 
  • The Waiting Dog, a picture book aimed at seven-year-olds, a story of a dog who dreams about eating a mailman, challenged because of its “obscene content and language.” -retained 
  • Tintin in the Congo because of its racist and colonial views. -retained but reclassified to the adult graphic novels 
  • War Stories Volume 1, a collection of four fictional Second World War illustrated stories. -retained
  • The New Adventures of Jesus Christ: The Second Coming, a compilation of Frank Stack’s ’60s and ’70s critique of American culture. -retained 
  • Bruno, the movie. -retained 
  • a Vanity Fair magazine article 

Take the Banned Book Challenge. Set your own goal to read any number of banned or challenged books between February 20, 2011 and June 30, 2011. Then, send us reviews, opinions, etc.

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