Since Genevieve and I were in Albuquerque almost all of last week, I can’t say that we did a lot of research. However, this might be a good opportunity to catch up on somethings I did not blog about.
Emailing Karin Perry
A couple weeks ago, I reached out to Karin Perry, the previous librarian of Whittier in Norman. She replied very quickly, directing me to her blog of the events, including a timeline. She also corrected something that Ellen Hopkins likes to tell people about the case: Norman did not take her books out of the library. During Censorship disputes, they always keeps the book(s) available until after the decision is made. Karin seemed willing to answer any further questions we had, but I thought that was a really interesting piece of information.
Receiving Information from the School
In that same week, we set up a phone interview with Kathryn Lewis, the Director of Media Services and Instructional Technology of Norman Public Schools. She read us the protocol for challenging and removing a book, and also sent us the parent complaint and the board meeting results. She also happens to know my sister, and they talked about our phone call. Kathryn mentioned that she actually went and listened to Ellen Hopkins talk a few years after the case, where she reported the same false information that Karin Perry corrected me on. I got the information from Ellen Hopkins blog post.
I think this could be a really interesting avenue to explore for our website. The reality of censorship vs. the rhetoric that is propagated from it. Hopefully, we can find more interesting tidbits like that as we continue working.