After I initially sent the email to Karin Perry, I was surprised that she did not reply quickly. Every other time I contacted her, she was incredibly fast and helpful. I waited two weeks, and emailed her again. This time, she responded with in the hour.
I simply asked if she had gotten my previous email, and asked her to please answer the questions she felt comfortable answering. She was very apologetic that she had not seen my last email. All was okay though, because she had gone above and beyond to answer our question.
She answered all our interview questions in this Google Doc.
Her opinions and the information she gave us is going to be incredible helpful to our website. She really felt that Glass did not deserve to be challenged the way that it was. The content of the novel provides so many lessons for young kids. As the librarian, she seemed aware that the kids checking it out were the ones mature enough to deal with the content. Also, I agree that there needs to be books in their school’s library that interest and challenge kids.
Something that I did not know about was the frequency of book challenges in Norman and the surrounding area. Some places it is very common. However, Karin stated that it was the only time a parent challenged a book in the five years that she worked there. This suggests that it was a fairly isolated indecent, brought on by the author visit. The parent probably would not have complained, if the visit had not been made known to them.
Speaking of the visit that never happened, we were interested in how Karin felt about the way that the administration handled the situation. This was my favorite part of her answers, when asked if she felt they handled it correctly:
I absolutely DO NOT. I was disappointed and felt completely let down by the entire situation. It was a knee jerk reaction to cancel Ellen’s speaking engagement. The student should have been asked to skip the speaking engagement instead of canceling it for everyone.
I am really impressed by her outspokenness here. She did say that the school followed all of the written policy very well. However, since this was such an unexpected circumstance, they could have came up with a more effective way to make sure that the student did not attend, without taking the opportunity away from everyone else.
Use for the Website
Karin Perry gave us so much to work with here. She really expressed that book challenging is not an effective response to not liking the content of a book.
Overall, I think most of what she shared will be going in the “About The Case” section of the website. However, we will probably include quotes about her personal opinion on the key players page. We also have a page about the significance of the case, where we will include her answer to our last question about that topic.
Karin has been so much help to us, and I can’t wait to add more information to our website!