Picture Books and Challenges: Dealing with Controversial Topics in Children's Collections

Collection of banned books: "And Tango Makes Three," "Heather has Two Mommies."NOTE: This past webinar has now been archived. The recording can be viewed on YouTube or below for free.

Librarians are tasked with providing a wide variety of viewpoints and information.  Sometimes there are conflicts with where and how children’s books are cataloged to accommodate what parents and caregivers feel is right for their children.  How do we balance open access, accurate classification, and ease of use for all families without discrimination? Learn about a variety of the issues surrounding this topic as well as ways to help navigate them in your library.

Sponsored by ALA's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Roundtable and Intellectual Freedom Roundtable.  

This archived webinar was originally presented November 18th, 2015
Running time: 60 minutes


Learning Outcomes

  • Thoughtful and engaging discussion about access to children's books
  • Resources for staff on selecting controversial materials
  • A variety of perspectives and scenarios to provide options for your individual library

Who Should Attend

  • Librarians; childrens, K-12 school
  • Administration: directors, systems, superintendents, principals
  • Catalogers and Technical Services Professionals
  • Library Consultants and Educators
  • Library Boards and School Boards
  • Organizations concerned with the First Amendment and Intellectual Freedom
  • State Library Associations and Intellectual Freedom Committee members


Photo of Carolyn Caywood

Carolyn Caywood became a librarian in 1972 upon graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1979 to be the Youth Services Coordinator.  In 1984, she began managing Bayside Area Library and in 2000 also took on the NLS subregional library for the blind.  She retired at the end of 2010.   Caywood wrote a monthly column on library services to teenagers for School Library Journal from 1990 through 1998.  In 2006, she was added to the Freedom to Read Foundation's Roll of Honor.  Caywood is currently president of the Norfolk/South Hampton Roads chapter of PFLAG.  

Photo of Peter D. CoylPeter D. Coyl is a District Manager with the Dallas Public Library.  He has worked in public libraries for over 15 years and has served on a Library Board and been a school librarian.  He earned his MSLIS degree (with a concentration in youth services) from Drexel University.  Mr. Coyl served as Chair of the Stonewall Book Awards committee and is currently Chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table.  He is a member of the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Texas Library Association and the Freedom to Read Foundation.





How to Register

View the recording on the OIF YouTube page

Tech Requirements

You’ll need a stable internet connection and working headphones/speakers.


Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom at kpekoll@ala.org or 312-280-4221.