Istituito durante la seduta CEN del 10 settembre 2018.
AIB Observatory on Censorship History
The Observatory on Censorship was established by the Italian Library Association (AIB) in 2018. Since then, it has been dealing with various cases of censorship in Italian libraries, both upon notification received by colleagues and taking information from the press. Its reports have been published on the Association website and on social network webpages managed by AIB. Within Italian libraries, there’s no other institution or organization devoted to the protection from censorship: as far as we know, the Observatory is the only body operating on such professional issues.
When a local public administration or a group of users criticize the choice of books in a library, or hamper their arrangement on the shelves, the most sensitive and careful librarians usually turn to the AIB Observatory on Censorship. Most of the cases deal with texts related to the world of children and young people.
Throughout this period the Observatory has been supporting our colleague Fabiola Bernardini in her legal battle against the municipality of Todi, a small town in central Italy: having refused to move some children’s books to the adult section of the local library, Fabiola was unexpectedly assigned to the town planning office and forced to quit the library; a court’s appeal sentence is currently pending. The Observatory on Censorship is closely monitoring this case, in constant contact with Fabiola Bernardini, who is also a member of the Observatory herself, cooperating and participating in its activities.
Among the most recent initiatives, the Observatory drafted the hereby enclosed questionnaire and published it on the AIB website. Aim of this survey is to map the censorship in Italian libraries, analysing how it’s perceived by librarians. A first report of the results will be presented on May 10 during the “Saved books” initiative, an annual commemoration of the book fires that occurred for ideological reasons. The 2022 edition of this initiative, first devised in 2019, will be entitled “Censorship is …” and will point out the various and often sneaky ways of practicing censorship and even self-censorship.