Progress Update: We Have A Website!

We have a site! While we still have plenty of editing to go to get our finished project as perfect as possible, I’m happy to say that Avery and I have finished the first draft of our website. I checked several items off my to-do list this week to get to this point. First of all, I finished transcribing our interview with Dr. Eickholdt and converted the document into a pdf to put on our site. For now it’s located on our “for educators/students” page, but I might create a separate page for interviews and place it there, along with our written email with Mr. Kling, which I also put on the “for educators/students” page in pdf form. So that we would have additional information on that page outside of the interviews, I also added a link to the ALA’s informational page on banned books week. I then took my compiled list of outside articles from our google drive folder and placed it on the “additional resources” page. Right now it’s divided into two sections, “general” and “Harry Potter and Wicca.” Depending on which resources Avery wants to add to the list, we may add additional categories.

In regards to my individual pages, I made the most progress on the “cases” section. The “Harry Potter in the US” section was already half-finished, as I had completed the “Series Summary” section earlier, so all I needed to do on that portion of the site was add content to the “National Reaction” page. On that page I’ve added context to the national censorship debate regarding the Harry Potter series by discussing various efforts to ban the book in schools since its 1998 US release. I’ve also included a StoryMap documenting some of the landmark cases regarding the series outside of the Gwinnett County case. The Alamogordo book burning in particular fascinated me while I was conducting my research, especially considering the recent Harry Potter burning in Poland for the same reasons, so I wanted to find a place to highlight it. I really enjoy the StoryMapJS tool, and thought this would be a great way to incorporate it into our site.

For the “cases” section, I left the “Laura Mallory” and “Original Complaint” pages as they were and added content to the other five, including the “cases” tab itself. While I do want to put more on Mallory’s page, since she is the original complainant and primary player in this case, I’m wary to add anything that could come across as authorial bias. Since we don’t have access to much of Mallory’s own voice, I’d rather err on the side of caution than accidentally smother her presence. On the “cases” tab I’ve added a short blurb describing the content of the upcoming pages and posed some questions we’re attempting to answer in our analysis of the Mallory case. Under “Appeal 1” I’ve got a description of Mallory’s system-level appeal of Magill’s original decision. Since the majority of the action involving this case happens in Appeal 2, I used this page to offer additional information on the school and its placement in the Gwinnett County school system, along with a map of the South Gwinnett cluster. Following Dr. Hajo’s advice, I’m going to reupload the map as a jpeg rather than a pdf so it will load faster. On “Appeal 2,” I use direct quotes from the State Board of Education’s official decision and our interview with Dr. Eickholdt to discuss Mallory’s expanded appeal to the local board. This page in particular is very content-heavy, so I plan on going back in later and breaking it up with some images or a video clip featuring the section of our interview that I featured in text. “Appeal 3” is much simpler, since there was not an official hearing at this point, but I did include a pdf of the State Board’s decision. Not only do I find this document extremely interesting and very useful for understanding the case as a whole, but I also think it is a key primary source that needed a dedicated space where visitors to the site could locate it easily. My “community response” page definitely needs the most work at this point. While I’ve added some perspective on and brief analysis of local response to Laura Mallory and the Gwinnett County case, I still need to include a discussion of the internet response to Mallory. My primary goal for this week is to flesh out this page in greater detail so that I have a better idea of how that information works in coordination with the other elements of our site.

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