Abstract

This study of a late nineteenth century book banning episode focuses on juvenile author Horatio Alger, Jr., and on the relationship between advocacy rhetoric and verifiable outcomes. By investigating user behavior as associated with library holdings and loan transactions the effectiveness of the campaign can be ascertained. A survey of public library book catalogs reveals that the number of Alger holdings stayed remarkably stable during the period. Muncie, Indiana’s database of loan transactions confirms Alger as the most frequently borrowed author. Censorship activity, while drawing public attention, failed to significantly alter either library holdings or children’s reading patterns.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 420-434
Launched on MUSE
2013-11-19
Open Access
No
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