Talk:Challenge (literature)

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Is "challenge" in this sense an Americanism? I'm British and had never heard of it used like this before I came across it in the US. (talk) 15:14, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

"Challenge" is a word used to describe a book that has been singled out for removal from a classroom, library, reading list, or other public place. A book is "challenged" when the complaint is registered, "banned" if the book is removed, "restricted" if the book is kept avalible, but now requires special access, and "retained" if the book is left where it was originally located. I'm not sure if "challenge" used in this way is strictly American, but it is used often in American to describe this type of complaint against a book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

POV tag added[edit]

This page is full of POV. Normally, one lays out in the Talk section what's the POV. But seeing this is a relatively new article and that it appears someone is trying to get it started, I'll leave out any specific criticisms for now. But I will add a POV|date=September 2008 tag to put people on notice this article needs serious attention.

Indeed, I have questions whether it belongs here at all--others pages might be better. It might be merged into other pages, or it already exists in other pages and should just be deleted. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 01:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the tag as you have not provided any reasons for adding it. GDallimore (Talk) 13:12, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
GDallimore, I stated I purposefully did not state the reasons. That is since I see you are building the page. I do not want to discourage you from building the page by raising concerns that you might just fix anyway because you are in the middle of the writing the page.
So let me ask this. Are you still building the page? If so, I'll assume you'll keep your eyes open for POV. If not, I'll state the POV and restore the POV tag. Cool? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 15:05, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm stuck with this page as I have been unable to find more reliable sources on the subject. Having reviewed the reasons for your similar POV tags on several other ALA related articles, it seems your concern is lack of sources and not actually that the articles reflect those sources in a POV manner. I have left those articles to their respective interested editors, but chose to remove the POV tag on this page. There is no overt POV expressed on this article that conflicts with the sources that have been located, so your tag here was inappropriate. Put another way, the article is not POV because it fairly represents the views expressed in the reliable sources that have been located per WP:NPOV. There are no significant conflicting views which have been found and which are not expressed in the article.
This is not to say that the article doesn't need lots of work. I have asked for help at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Literature#Challenge in finding more sources. I would be more than grateful if you could help in this, too. I almost changed your tag to a {{moresources}} tag because of this problem with the article, but decided going directly to the Literature WkPjct would be more productive. If any reliable sources that express views which conflict with those currently expressed can be found, then we can add content reflecting those and we're going to be well on the way to making a good article. In particular, something encyclopedic could, I think, arise by finding sources that discuss the pros and cons making challenges, such as the comment on self-censorship towards the end of the current article, and more about the views of parents in protecting their children "at source", as it were, rather than merely in the home. GDallimore (Talk) 16:11, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, but this page is still quite duplicative of other pages. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 19:13, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


"A successful challenge would result in a banning and removal of those materials, a form of censorship." That is a POV. If a book is "challenged" and removed, it may be for reasons having nothing to do with "banning." For example, the book may be removed legally under Bd of Educ v. Pico. Or the book did not meet the library's selection policy in the first place.

Further, if a book is being "challenged," that necessarily means the book is freely available or it would not have been available to "challenge" in the first place. And if it is removed from a school, for example, the book is still available in the library, the bookstore, online, etc. It is simply not banned in the real sense of the word. The POV comes in when for political reasons or to sell newspapers, "banned" becomes the word to use to effectuate the goals of those with the POV by making it sound more ominous than it really is. As one former American Library Association [ALA] Councilor put it, "It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don't talk about much — the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it's totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all."

"Challenges are often brought by parents wishing to protect their children from content that they deem to be inappropriate or offensive. However, under an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, 'Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents — and only parents — have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children — and only their children — to library resources.' " The Library Bills of Rights represents the POV of the ALA. It is, by definition, a POV. The ALA's POV is that it is age discrimination for a librarian to keep a child from inappropriate material. That is not what most people think, and yes, that's my OR. But this isn't: in the case the ALA lost and lost big, US v. ALA, the US Supreme Court said in 2003, "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree." The Court went on to approve Internet filters on public library computers. The ALA's POV, on the other hand, is that librarians must not take part in effectuating that interest. And now that same ALA POV appears four square in this article, directly in the text and in the references as well.

"The American Library Association believe that it is important to monitor challenges made to books as well as actual bannings since a challenge may lead to self-censorship by those seeking to avoid controversy." Again, this is ALA POV sitting naked in a Wikipedia article. No books have been banned in the USA for many decades, but the ALA would have us believe it is an everyday occurrence, and people trying to keep inappropriate materials from children are book banners. Given what the US Supreme Court said, the Court too falls under the ALA's definition of book banners. Well this is a Wikipedia article and ALA POV or any POV at all, should not be here. "Actual bannings," for example, is POV.

"Self-censorship by those seeking to avoid controversy"? Not only is that POV, but it is also baloney not backed up by any reliable source.

Okay, that's detailed enough. I'm adding back in the POV tag, and it should not be removed until this matter is worked out. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 05:32, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I think I now understand your problem - you do not agree with the ALA's strong, even emotive language used in connection with challenges. Unfortunately, I also think that you do not quite understand the NPOV policy since none of the above are reasons to add a POV tag. Please read Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#There.27s_no_such_thing_as_objectivity. You are objecting because certain things in the article are said from a particular source's POV. That is not against the POV policy. What is against POV policy is promoting one POV at the expense of POVs put forward in other reliable sources. There are no reliable sources that I have found or that you have put forward (you yourself admit that your comments are OR and don't provide links or identify paper sources where there is a third party discussion/interpretation of the court cases you cite) which reflect an opposing POV. If there really is a dispute about what challenges are and the effects of them, then this should be represented in reliable soures that can be brought into this article. As I have previously said, therefore, the problem with this article is lack of sources.
Please contribute to improving the article using reliable sources or I will remove the POV tag. You say the tag should not be removed until this matter has been resolved. However, if you are unwilling to help improve the article, then you are "abusing your right" to use the tag per Wikipedia:NPOVD#What_is_an_NPOV_dispute.3F. GDallimore (Talk) 14:11, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I just contributed. However, there is no longer a need for a POV tag because balancing information has now been added to the article. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 12:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I've re-added it since the article still seems to be about "challenge" within the context of American literature as defined by the American Library Association instead of book challenges in general. I've added the one source, globalize and missing information tags for the same reason. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 09:03, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
If you still need other discussion of the topic challanged, I suggest exploring the following - "The people that keep ading the POV tag are "challenged." - Anon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Missing info tag and American centrism[edit]

I've re-added it since the article still seems to be about "challenge" within the context of American literature as defined by the American Library Association instead of book challenges in general. I've added the one source, globalize and missing information tags for the same reason. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 09:03, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I created this new section and reprinted Gordon Ecker's comment since it looked buried above. Hope people don't mind. Indeed, no one has responded except 1 snarky anon. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 22:34, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Currently, the article's written as if the ALA's position is the only one that matters. IMO the article needs to be reorganized to more clearly distinguish between general, non-controversial claims (as I understand it, everyone agrees on the basic definitions and the disputes are generally about what is and isn't reasonable) and the positions of specific organizations such as the American Library Association, the American Decency Association or the ACLU. If everyone uses the same definition as the ALA, we should just state that it's the general definition and cite several sources (news articles, dictionaries, court rulings etc.) which support that claim. If it's the mainstream definition but some major organizations disagree with it, we should describe both the mainstream definition and major alternate definitions, with citations and examples of major orginizations which support the various definitions. Also, currently, the article explains what the term means within the context of the United States, but is silent on what it means in the rest of the world. If some orginazation tries to get a book removed from a library in Britain, France or Italy and it gets covered in the American media, I'm pretty sure they're still going to call it challenge, but what term would they use to refer to it in the UK or Australia, an attempted book ban or something else? This article should answer that question, and either include information about challenges / attempted book bans outside the USA or link to another artile that does. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 22:16, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I've added the {{too few opinions}} tag. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 00:01, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Is anyone here capable of doing anything else other than adding tags? --Moni3 (talk) 02:04, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

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