Middle School Librarian Creates Banned Books Week Bitmoji Library

School librarian Jaynie Korzi made an interactive digital book display spotlighting challenged books that are in the library's collection.


It's Banned Books Week, and students at Yellow Breeches Middle School (YBMS) in Boiling Springs, PA, can drop into their virtual library to celebrate their freedom to read.

School librarian Jaynie Korzi has designed a special interactive Bitmoji library with a book display showing some oft-challenged titles that are in the school's library collection. Students can click on the book to hear a recording of Korzi sharing a brief summary of the title and why it was challenged.

"BBW spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools," reads the whiteboard on the site. "At the YBMS Library, you have the freedom to read what you want, even if others may consider the book unpopular."

The books in Korzi's Banned Books Bitmoji Library are:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
  • Quest: Out from Boneville (Bone series) by Jeff Smith
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

This is Korzi's second year at the school, but the first time she has spotlighted Banned Books Week—something she was encouraged to do by her district's high school librarian. 

[READ: Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Decade]

"My goal is to diversify the [middle school] collection and part of that includes celebrating students’ freedom to read," Korzi says.

When they visit Korzi's site this week, students can click on the computer icon to access Destiny and place a book on hold. As part of the pandemic precautions and restructuring, Korzi's physical library space is not open to students this year. Instead, they request books online and she delivers them. Without the ability to browse in person, Korzi is trying to create interest with her Bitmoji library that highlights different titles each week.

"I believe having a strong presence on the internet is the best way to keep students engaged in reading during hybrid and remote learning," she says. "Bitmoji libraries are a fun, fresh way to share books with students."

[READ: Virtual Libraries and Bitmoji Classrooms Bring New Kind of Book Browsing]

Let us know what you are doing this week in the comments below.

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (kyorio@mediasourceinc.com, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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Natausha Stephens

Is this available to use?

Posted : Oct 05, 2020 02:53

Jennifer Shrum

Lol, I have all those books on my shelves, including one that is banned throughout my state. It's a picture book by Patricia Polacco called In Our Mothers' House. It's a beautiful book about 2 women who are married and how they adopted 3 children. It showcases how these children were raised in a loving household and were taught how to respect others' opinions, even when they were hurtful. It is a beautifully written story that will make you cry at the end. I have several families that this book represents and they have loved having a book that they can share with their children and one that their children can relate to. Another book that people want off the shelf is 13 Reasons Why. I loved this book and I refuse to take it off my shelf. I feel if people have a problem with a book, then don't check it out. It's really simple-respect other people's choices. I love what Jaynie Korzi is doing for her library. We need more people like this because it is hard being a librarian in today's world where everyone has an opinion on something and some demand that you follow their thinking. Great job, Jaynie Korzi!

Posted : Oct 01, 2020 04:42

Stephanie Haumont

My students will learn about Banned Books Week and the dangers of censorship by participating in the digital breakout I’ve prepared for them: https://sites.google.com/johnston.k12.nc.us/mrshaumontsdigitalbreakoutsbbw/free-the-book

Posted : Oct 01, 2020 12:45

Teresa Diaz

Thanks for sharing. School librarians are creating other interactives for students to explore and learn about BBW beyond bitmoji scenes. If you want to crowdsource other examples, maybe create a hashtag and callout on social media!

Posted : Sep 29, 2020 04:17



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