Teen Advisory Boards Take on Book Bans

Should school boards consider teen input regarding which books are banned from their school libraries?

Young people should have a say in which books are pulled from their library’s shelves.

With the issues of censorship and book banning as present and important as ever in school libraries, debate on how best to handle them continues. The controversy surrounding school officials making these decisions is reaching a fever pitch, so many schools have turned to teen advisory boards to discuss the content of books. Let’s look at what these teen advisory boards are, what they’re doing, and how they’re helping to depolarize and improve the situation at hand.

Why Teen Advisory Boards Are Forming

Teen advisory boards have, of course, formed in response to the current conversations surrounding censorship in the library. Many students, parents, and teachers are fed up with how book bans are currently being handled and feel that those affected by the bans should have a say in them. This frustration has resulted in the creation of teen advisory boards that provide information and perspective to the board members who make the final decision.


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Why Teen Advisory Boards Are Healthier for Libraries

So, why have a teen advisory board in the first place? What benefits do they offer over having the school board make decisions alone? As mentioned, these advisory boards are typically made up of people directly affected by book bans and censorship, so they have a unique and valuable perspective that the school board doesn’t.

One of the biggest complaints associated with recent book bans is that, in many cases, the officials banning books haven’t actually read the books in question and, therefore, can’t accurately judge their content. After all, it doesn’t make sense to ban a book based on what they think it contains. 

Teen advisory boards can read through books challenged by parents or the school board, carefully examining the content and providing information to school officials so they can make better-informed decisions. Needless to say, this has a profound positive impact on the health of the school library, ensuring that important and relevant information stays freely accessible to students while genuinely inappropriate content is removed as needed.


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Relation to Banned Book Clubs

Teen banned book advisory boards tend to work closely with banned book clubs and, in many cases, even share members. With book clubs spending so much time reading and analyzing banned and contested books, the information they have on the books’ content is invaluable. This gives advisory boards a detailed understanding of any objectionable content these books may contain and helps them make an educated decision when giving their recommendations to school officials.

If you’re interested in learning more about how schools across the nation are choosing to handle censorship and book bans, feel free to visit us at EveryLibrary today!



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