New York Public Library

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Date: 1920s 1930s

Region: North America

Subject: Language

Medium: Literature


NYCLibrary.jpg

Artist: various authors

Confronting Bodies: librarians at the New York Public Library

Dates of Action: 1920s, 1930s

Location: New York

Description of Artwork: Different books chosen by the librarians.

The Incident: During the 1920s and '30s, the New York Public Library engaged in self censorship where librarians would choose materials to catalogue separately. These books would only be available if patrons asked for them specifically.

Results of Incident: In the 1940s and 1950s, professional librarians created guidelines for all the librarians to follow. These objective guidelines prevented the librarians from making subjective decisions on which materials should be available only by request.

Source: Long Island Coalition Against Censorship, "Censorship in Schools and Libraries" exhibit