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BISG Annual Industry Awards Open

The Book Industry Study Group opened nominations for the 2014 BISG Annual Industry Awards this week. The awards recognize outstanding contributions and achievements in the publishing industry and efforts that reflect and further BISG’s mission.

Employees of BISG member companies are invited to submit nominations for the awards, which will be presented at the BISG Annual Meeting of Members on September 19, 2014, in New York City. The four awards are:

  • Innovation Award, for the company or individual who boldly reimagines what publishing is and can be. Nominations are due by July 18.
  • Industry Champion, which recognizes an individual whose efforts have gone beyond the requirements of his or her position to advance the publishing industry while embracing BISG’s mission. Nominations are due by July 18.
  • Most Valuable BISG Volunteer, which recognizes the recipient’s commitment to solve industry challenges and find new opportunities by working collaboratively with industry peers over the previous year. The winner will be chosen by a jury along with BISG staff.
  • BISG Lifetime Service Award, recognizing an individual’s outstanding work on behalf of BISG over the course of a career. The winner will be chosen by a jury.

Florida School Cancels Summer Reading Assignment Over Content Dispute

The Kids’ Right to Read Project sent a letter this week to Florida’s Booker T. Washington High School expressing concern about the cancellation of its school-wide summer reading program, which featured Cory Doctorow’s novel Little Brother (Tor Teen) as the assigned text. In a blog post, Doctorow noted that the school principal’s correspondence about the decision “cited reviews that emphasized the book’s positive view of questioning authority, lauding ‘hacker culture,’ and discussing sex and sexuality in passing.”

The June 9 letter, sent by KRRP and signed by the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Council of Teachers of English, The PEN American Center Children’s and Young Adult Book Committee, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, noted that “the book was selected after an extensive process by the professional staff” and urged the school to reinstate the book in the summer reading program.

South Carolina Budget Proposal Called Academic Interference by NCAC

The National Coalition Against Censorship, the ACLU of South Carolina are condemning a budget provision, The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and others are among those calling for adopted by the South Carolina legislature that requires the College of Charleston and USC Upstate to allocate their incoming student reading program funds specifically to teaching the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Federalist papers.

The House’s budget proposal would have subjected the schools to funding cuts in response to their teaching books containing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender themes, said the NCAC, specifically the assignation of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home (Mariner Books), a graphic novel detailing the author’s struggle with her sexual orientation, by the College of Charleston for its freshman reading program. USC Upstate selected Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio (Hub City Writers Project).

The accepted Senate proposal is a compromise that restores the funding but mandates that the sum of the amount spent on the controversial books instead be spent teaching the founding documents going forward. The governor could sign off on the budget next week.

AAUP Releases Books for Understanding: Brazil

The Association of American University Presses this week revealed its most recent Books for Understanding list, focusing on Brazil. The scholarly bibliography highlights more than 200 titles from AAUP’s member presses and looks at the history, society, and culture of this year’s host country for the World Cup.

Books for Understanding is a free public service of AAUP that helps readers find relevant books based on current events.