February 12, 2008

A Slightly Different Wrinkle

Posted in Selection tagged , at 10:24 am by maf

There’s a lot I could talk about today! My feeling about blog postings, though, is that shorter is better. I’ll limit this to a couple of thoughts I’ve had since class Saturday.

True or false: The main purpose of a Selection Policy is to protect again challenges. My answer: False.

Yes, a significant purpose of the SP is to do just that. We certainly had that demonstrated to us in class Saturday from our guest speaker. But what if you live in one of those quiet places where challenges are unlikely to occur? It would be tempting to not bother with the chore of writing a Selection Policy.

The main purpose of a Selection Policy – in my opinion – is to guide  selection so that you will have the best possible collection for your students.

My second thought: many of us are opposed to profanity in children’s materials. Many people are, period. However, the intellectual freedom doctrine would tend to encourage us to ignore our concerns about profanity because it often constitutes a personal bias.

But here’s another wrinkle. We are also bound to avoid stereotypes in materials, or messages that oppress certain groups. Am I alone in believing that much profanity is gender-specifc? Are not many profane words depicting sexual acts cruel in their connotation, implying cruelty to a certain gender? There certainly may be arguments for including such language in a collection. There may also be important arguments against them that have little to do with prudishness. Unfortunately, this whole line of reasoning has been given a tired label: PC.

These are thoughts that occur to me as I read through your Drafts! Remember, there are still no right or wrong personal philosophies of intellectual freedom.

Update: I am 1/3 finished, and plan to do another third tomorrow and the final third on Friday. As I go, I’m sending emails to the teams that include any critical formative feedback, as in “Do not continue until you have fixed ___.”
I am pleased with what I’ve read so far.


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