[library-media] Common Sense Media

Sarah Herron Sarah.Herron at slcschools.org
Thu Nov 18 10:28:51 MST 2010


Using the ratings from Common Sense has started several discussions about censorship. In this fall's ALA Banned Book Week presentation/webinar, this website was specifically mentioned. Speak's ratings page was shown, pointing out that it could be a possible deterrent for students to read this powerful book. An anecdotal example in the webinar mentioned a father following their child around the library stacks, checking out the titles on the website on his phone, and then recommending to his child to put the books back. The point was to watch out for adults using this website with books in your stacks since it may lead to a possible book challenge. Most recently, in November's School Library Journal, Todd Strasser wrote a letter to the SLJ editor entitled "Dirty Minds?" describing his struggle to understand the Common Sense rating of his book, Give a Boy a Gun.

I am not saying that the Common Sense ratings are invalid or suspect; I think that it is good for us as library media specialists to be aware of what sources our parents may rely on as content filters. I am saying is that it is important for us to use multiple sources for book ratings/reviews so we can respond to their questions and/or challenges.


Sarah G. Herron
Library Technology Teacher
WHS Technology Coordinator
West High School
241 N. 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

**Please note my address change: sarah.herron at slcschools.org **

sarah.herron at slcschools.org
801-578-8500 X271 Telephone
801-578-8524 Fax

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."   Groucho Marx

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