University Woman Texas
Volume 73 l Issue 4 l March 2022
Message from the President
Women’s History Month is well underway. If you missed the talk with our CEO Gloria Blackwell and Esther Ngumbi, PhD that was aired March 8th in honor of International Women’s Day, I recommend you find the recording and watch now. You may also learn about the many women with ties to AAUW on our National website under About AAUW – Faces of AAUW – AAUW Trailblazers.

If you are a Facebook or Twitter participant, you have probably noticed, as I have, an increased presence of AAUW on these platforms. Many wonderful posts about Black women during February and Historical women this month. Please share these and let your friends know what a wonderful organization you are part of – one that supports all women on the road to equity.

Congratulations to the Arlington, Georgetown, Lubbock, and San Antonio branches, and the student group at Texas A&M, for being awarded SHARE grants to be used for registration costs to send Texas college students to NCCWSL this May. Thank you to all the branches who send students using branch funds as well.

Please read all the messages about our April 30th Golden Opportunity Conference in this newsletter. Send your Outstanding Member and Outstanding New Member nominees to Barbara Cager. Be sure to send pictures of your branch activities – identify the branch and the activity, no personal names needed – to Mary Smith. We want every branch to be represented in our slide show! Be on the lookout for a registration email. There is NO FEE for attending this virtual event, but you must register to receive the link.

And VOTE! We have recently had primaries across the state. There will be many runoffs in May. AAUW Texas will vote between April 1 and April 15 for a new State Board and some proposed bylaws changes. This is YOUR organization, please use your voice when you receive that email. If you don’t receive the voting and registration emails in your regular in-box, be sure to check all your in-boxes. The ways of the WEB are sometimes mysterious!

Gloria Long
AAUW Texas President
50th AAUW Texas Conference
50th Anniversary of Title IX
You are invited to a “Golden Opportunity” to celebrate the 50th AAUW Texas Conference and the 50th Anniversary of Title IX with fellow AAUW members. For the safety of our members and their families the conference will be an all-virtual event.
The conference will be presented using the Zoom webinar format. Attendees will have both camera and microphone turned off to minimize the interference with the speakers. Attendees will be able to see and hear the speakers and hosts and can communicate with them through CHAT and Q&A. Those feeds will be monitored and passed on to the appropriate speaker. 
We have an exciting program planned. The schedule includes five speakers, the announcement of the new slate of state board officers, a ceremony to honor 50-year members, and a slide show celebrating the accomplishments of branches and members. The impactful day will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. with scheduled breaks so attendees may join at various times during the day. We hope you plan to join us for this day of celebration. Registrants will receive an online program booklet with the complete schedule after registration. 

The state AAUW Texas board has approved funds to make the conference free to attend for all members. Registration will be required to obtain the Zoom link, but there will be no charge. Please watch your email for a registration link for a Zoom webinar. After registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to join the webinar. If you do not receive an email invitation, please check your spam folder. You will also receive a reminder email one week and the day before the conference with the link so it will be convenient to join. 
There are five speakers with important messages for AAUW members. We will be looking at our past, present, and future with their presentations. Please review the biographies below to learn more about each speaker. Presentation times are indicated beside each speaker’s name.  
Jackie Littleton (9:15 am)
Texas Author
The title of my presentation is the title of my (so far unpublished) book: The Lady and the Letters. It is about one of our AAUW national staff who worked to get women academics out of Nazi-occupied countries prior to World War II. She was one of the speakers at the National Convention held in Dallas/Fort Worth in 1945, the first in-person convention after the War. The manuscript was awarded second place for Literary Non-Fiction at the Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Conference in 2019. 
Jackie graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a degree in journalism and received her master’s degree in education from the University of Louisville. She taught in middle schools and colleges for 30 years and served as associate editor for The Docent Educator for 14 years. She was director of the New Orleans Museum of Art volunteer program and curator of education for the Clarksville-Montgomery County Museum as well as a museum education consultant for many years. 

Jackie served on the national Board of Directors of AAUW for two terms and as secretary for one term. Prior to her service on the national board, she was president of AAUW Tennessee.   She is the immediate past president of AAUW Tyler and current chair of the AAUW Tyler Fund. She also serves as the Legacy Circle Liaison for Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. 
Kevin Stewart (11:00 am)
AAUW Texas Legislative Counsel
Kevin Stewart is an attorney and political consultant based out of Austin. He attended The University of Texas for both undergraduate and law degrees focusing his studies on the legislative process and statutory interpretation.

He currently runs his own law firm where he advocates for clients at the state capitol and before state agencies. Kevin is also the author of the Texas Legislative Law Handbook and a member of the Campaign & Legislative Law Section of the State Bar.

Kevin has served has a consultant for AAUW Texas for the past two years.

For more information:
Malinda A. Gaul (1:45 pm)
AAUW National Vice Chair
AAUW Texas Past President
Malinda Gaul has been a trial attorney (J.D. Baylor University) for 39 years, specializing in employment law representing employees. She has been involved in AAUW for more than 30 years and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the National Board. At the national level she also served on the Legal Advocacy Fund Advisory Committee, Nominating Committee, and Convention Procedures Committee. She has been Texas State President – twice - and San Antonio Branch President, in addition to many other elected and committee positions at both levels. 

While her greatest passion is for AAUW, she has also served on numerous other non-profit boards both locally and state-wide, including the Equal Justice Center, Texas Employment Lawyers Association, State Bar of Texas Labor and Employment Law Section and Women and the Law Section, and Business and Professional Women.

For more information:
Raegan Pebley (2:15 pm)
Head Wome's Basketball Coach
Texas Christian University (TCU)
Coach Raegan Pebley is in her eighth season as TCU women's basketball head coach in 2021-22. Pebley continues to lead the Frogs in an upward trend, as their 79 total wins over the past four years are ranked fourth-most among all Big 12 teams.

Pebley has not only served TCU, but also the women's basketball community as a whole. She is a member of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board of Directors, helping guide the Fund's mission to extend and improve the lives of all women battling cancer by raising money for research and assisting the underserved. She is also a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Board of Directors, helping the Association's mission to improve and advance the game of women's basketball.

Pebley arrived at TCU after spending the previous two seasons at Fresno State where she led the Bulldogs to Mountain West tournament titles and berths into the NCAA Tournament in each of her two seasons

The Orem, Utah, native faced a tall task in her first head coaching position, starting the Utah State women's basketball program after its reinstatement in 2003 following a 25-year hiatus.

Pebley garnered WAC Coach of the Year accolades for the 2010-11 season after the Aggies advanced to their first WNIT, where they toppled Arizona, and was a WBCA National Coach of the Year finalist in 2012 after Utah State registered its first-ever 20-win season and returned to the WNIT.

A standout at the University of Colorado, Pebley was selected with the 21st overall pick of the inaugural WNBA Draft in 1997, where she played two seasons with the Cleveland Rockers and Utah Starzz. During her collegiate career at Colorado, Pebley helped lead the Buffs to a 106-24 overall record and four conference championships, including winning the inaugural Big 12 tournament title in 1997. Pebley, was one of nine players in CU history to score over 1,000 career points (1,045) and collect over 700 rebounds (701).

Pebley and her husband, Keith, have one son, Joseph, and one daughter, Harper.

Dr. Taharee Jackson, Ph.D. (3:30 pm)
DrTaharee Consulting
Dr. Taharee A. Jackson is the Founder and Tonesetter-in-Chief of DrTaharee Consulting. She also serves as an Equal Opportunity Manager in Strategy and Innovation at the Department of Defense in Washington, DC. She entered public service as a veteran diversity, equity, and inclusion expert. She most recently served as the inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Accessibility Officer at the American Institute of Physics. Prior to that she served as the Expert Consultant to the President and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Manager for the National Defense University. She joined the federal government after a 17-year career in academia as a professor, teacher educator, and researcher of Minority and Urban Education.
Dr. Jackson is a certified federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor and a certified Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Program (SHARP) Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC). She is also a certified Trainer-of-Diversity-Trainers by the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). Dr. Jackson holds a Magna Cum Laude B.A. from Harvard University in Psychology and Spanish; a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Human Development and Psychology; and a Ph.D. from Emory University in teacher and adult education, multicultural education, and urban education reform. Dr. Jackson has served as the inaugural Chester M. Pierce Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and specializes in educating members of all groups to become allies and advocates for those who are different from themselves. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, exercising in the sun, and picnicking by her father’s graveside at Arlington National Cemetery. 
AAUW Texas State Outstanding Member and
Outstanding New Member
Your branch nominees for the AAUW Texas State Outstanding Member Award and AAUW Texas State Outstanding New Member Award are due March 15, 2022. Please submit nominations for either – or both – of these awards, by submitting a persuasive narrative of (1000 words or less) describing the accomplishments of the member and why she should be named AAUW Texas State Outstanding Member or AAUW Texas State Outstanding New Member. Please submit narratives and a photo of each nominee to Barbara Cager at by March 15, 2022.
Select that exceptional member in your branch to nominate for the AAUW Texas Outstanding Member Award: 
·       The member who has made an impact on the branch
·       The person who you cannot imagine your branch functioning without
·       The person who has helped to make branch activities successful despite the unprecedented challenges we faced the past two years. 
Please nominate that special new member for the AAUW Texas State Outstanding New Member Award:
·       A member who has only been with your branch 3 or fewer years but has already made her mark
·       She has a can-do attitude
·       She has jumped right in working for the success of the branch
Both award submissions along with pictures of your nominees are due by March 15, 2022.

Winners with be announced for both categories during our Virtual 50th AAUW Texas State Conference – Golden Opportunity”- April 30, 2022.
Barbara Cager,
Membership VP
AAUW Texas 
AAUW Texas Votes

The AAUW Texas Board of Directors election and voting on proposed bylaws changes will occur April 1-15, 2022. You will receive an email with a link to the ballot on April 1st. Please vote for the board candidates and on the proposed bylaws changes before voting ends at 11:59pm on the 15th. All the information is available in this edition of the UWT so that you may prepare to vote before the ballot arrives. Please be sure to check all your email boxes if the ballot doesn’t appear in your primary box.
Candidates for AAUW Texas Board of Directors 2022-2024
Lynn Hagan

As president, I will continue to work within the strategic plan to 1) increase membership and student engagement, 2) support a strong legislative agenda with the help of the board and legislative counsel and 3) establish and maintain coalitions of like-minded organizations to work to achieve similar goals.

Having over 30 years in AAUW leadership positions from branch to state boards. Currently I serve on Southern Miss alumni board, Heart of Texas (Red Cross) board. I have exceptional oral, written, and computer skills.

My AAUW experience includes the following: Texas State Board, SHARE Program Oversight (2019 – present), Brazos Valley Branch (College Station) Parliamentarian (2016 – 2017), Mississippi Vice President (1998-1999), Mississippi Secretary (1996-1998), Hattiesburg, MS Branch President (1994-1996), Slidell, LA Branch Educational Foundation Chair (1993-1994), Slidell, LA Branch President (1992-1993), Slidell, and LA Branch Vice President (1990-1992).

I am a semi-retired licensed clinical social worker, licensed in Texas and Louisiana. I graduated from Texas A&M with a BA (anthropology), a MS (recreation) a MSW (social work) from University of Southern Mississippi, and a PsyD (psychology) from California Southern University.
Mary Smith
Vice President of Programs

My goal as Program Vice President is to provide ideas for mission-based programs for other Texas branches at the on-line meetings and to arrange, plan and execute a state convening in 2024.

I have served as the Program VP for North Harris County Branch for two years and I was on the Local Arrangement Committee for the 2018 State AAUW convention in Houston in 2018. These skills will help me fulfill the position of Program VP for the Texas State Board of AAUW.

I am a retired educator with a BA from Southern Methodist University and a M.Ed. in Administration from Prairie View A & M. I taught primarily in high school and was the Coordinator of Secondary Social Studies for the Cypress Fairbanks ISD. Previous leadership positions at the state level while serving as president of the Social Studies Supervisors Association. I have written several articles for The Texan, a professional magazine for social studies educators.

I am a member of AAUW NHC and have served for 2 years as Program VP from 2014 – 2016 and then as President for 3 years from 2016 - 2019. I have served on the State AAUW Board as Secretary from 2020 – 2022. I have attended three state AAUW conventions and one national AAUW convention.
Sara Wood
Vice President of Membership

As the Texas AAUW Membership Vice President, I will draw on my experience as the North Dallas Membership VP for the past three years. I plan to serve as a resource to assist branches with recruiting a diverse membership and retaining current members. I will keep them up to date with National AAUW membership guidance and resources, as well as help branch Membership Vice Presidents navigate the member database. Promoting branch support of NCCWSL and the development of student college groups with local colleges will also be an area of focus.

I am a retired licensed social worker and a member of the North Dallas branch since 1987. I have served in various branch positions including as a member of the Yearbook Committee, the Scholarship Committee, Chair of the ”Financial Basics for Women” workshop, Chair of the Lunch ‘N Lit book club, Branch President (2016-2019) and I am the current Membership VP(2019-2022). I was the Educational Foundation Named Gift Award Recipient in 2015. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Economics and Sociology, as well as completed post-graduate studies in Social Work at the University of Texas, Arlington.
Marjorie (Margie) Poole
Vice President of AAUW Funds

My goal is to provide support to branch personnel working to raise funds for their branches and AAUW. I am currently serving as Funds Vice President. I have worked with spreadsheets, data entry, budgeting in both jobs and past AAUW positions.

I have served as Branch Secretary and Branch Programs VP for Northeast Tarrant County Branch, President of North District Interbranch Council President and District Representative. Since moving to Houston, I have served as North Harris Branch Funds Vice President and Newsletter Editor. Previously, I have served on AAUW Texas as Branch Services Office. I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, 1971 with a Bachelor of Journalism in Advertising, second major in History, minors in English and Psychology. I am currently employed.
Lucy Barrington

As AAUW TX Secretary, my goals would be to keep up-to-date records and make sure information is archived. For 30+ years, I taught business/computer applications in high school, adult ed, and college with a B.S and M.A.T. in Business Education from Southeast Missouri State University. My recordkeeping skills developed while teaching through classroom organization and serving as secretary in local, state, and national professional business ed organizations.
I was a secretary in AAUW Lubbock, DKG Eta Rho, Altrusa Dawners, AAUW Kirkwood-Webster Groves (MO), and AAUW St. Louis (MO). In 32 years in AAUW, I’ve served on the AAUW TX State Board (2017-22, West District Representative; 2012-14, VP Programs; 2010-12, VP Funds); the AAUW Lubbock Board (2008-2015, Newsletter Editor, Secretary, VP Programs, VP Membership, M-D Secretary, President); the AAUW MO State Board (1996-2000, Public Info Chair and Education Chair); the K-WG Board (2005-07, President; and numerous leadership positions in K-WG and St. Louis from 1991 to 2007). 
For 3 years, I served as LWV Lubbock Office Manager; then I became a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar.  I currently am volunteering with the American Red Cross South Plains Chapter since February 2019 by event tabling across West TX, training, and handling office tasks.
Diane Roberts
Finance Officer

As finance officer of AAUW Texas, I will make sure the financial records are accurate and communicated to the Board, checks are promptly deposited and
dispersed, and questions are answered promptly. Although not currently licensed, I have been a CPA and worked as a tax accountant at Enron Corp and a local accounting firm in Houston.

I have just completed one year (FY 2020-2021) as finance officer for AAUW Texas, and I finished two, two year terms (FY 2018-2021) as finance officer for West Harris County Branch. I have revised the budget process to make it more informative and transparent. I have worked extensively with National AAUW to ensure the accuracy of membership and dues payment records for the West Harris County Branch, and I have an excellent understanding of the Membership Payment Program (MPP). I can assist members in the state branches if they have any issues with the MPP database.

Currently retired, I have been a librarian, library specialist and technologist in the Houston Independent School District, library director at St. Thomas High School, and have served on various local and national boards. I have a B.S. and B.A. from Texas Woman’s University, a Master of Library Science from the University of North Texas, and an MBA from the University of Houston.
Betsy Calabro
South District Representative

Over my years as a member of AAUW I realize that the mission of AAUW is important to society as well as the women of Texas. It is my goal to support and uphold this mission as I visit with the branches of the South District and keep them informed about the activities and goals of AAUW Texas and National and encourage their branch’s participation.

As a member of the Local Arrangements Committee organizing the AAUW Texas Convention in Houston in 2018, I met many members from other branches. The sharing of innovative ideas, attending informative workshops, and hearing inspiring speakers has led me to realize the importance of these collaborative activities. I hope to impart this enthusiasm to the branches within my district and help them to communicate with other branches by sharing their branch activities and accomplishments. It is my job to help coordinate this communication and to offer motivation and encouragement where possible.

I have a BS in education and a MS degree in Human Behavior and Development and have lived in several US States as well as overseas. An active member of the North Harris County Branch, I held board positions of Membership, President, and Secretary.
Cheryl Fuller
Central District Representative

Shared activities and accomplishments are key in team-building. I have fully utilized virtual meetings and envision their use to help achieve my goals as Central District Representative.  Focusing on public policy, fund-raising, and program planning, I plan to create a network of common district objectives and individual branch communication and visits.

I have experience at leadership levels in Federal and private sector organizations, determining operational and strategic goals and objectives; leading projects in information technology, human resources, and financial management; and communicating effectively and collaboratively.
I joined AAUW San Antonio in 2016 and have served as branch Public Policy Chair (2017), Secretary (2018-19-20), and President (2020-21-22). I have continuously participated in branch committees, especially those related to education and scholarship for women and girls. I led the effort for San Antonio branch to gain 5-Star Branch status as first-year President.
I am currently retired after 30 years of Federal Service with the Department of Defense in an agency of the Office of Secretary of Defense, where I was a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service. I have a BS in Business from Michigan State University and a MBA from University of Utah.
Cheri Butler
North District Representative
I am a dedicated member of AAUW, first joining the NETC branch in fall of 1978. After a 10-year hiatus to live in California, I returned and rejoined the branch in 1994. Most recently I served as co-VP of Membership for four years during which we successfully maintained our membership and achieved recruiting a more diverse membership. For the past two years I have served as program co-VP during the pandemic. Despite having all Zoom meetings during that time, we achieved a tremendous positive response to our programming and typically had 40+ members at a meeting (out of 100 members).  
During my membership in NETC AAUW I have served as Treasurer (80-82), President (82-84), VP Membership (2016-2020), and VP Programs (2020-2022). 
I am a retired Licensed Professional Counselor who specialized in Career Counseling. I have a B.S. in Education from The Ohio State University and an M.A. in Career Development from John F. Kennedy University in California. I practiced in Texas for over 30 years. As part of my professional experience, I served as President of the National Career Development Association, a 5500-member organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of career counseling. We maintained our membership during my tenure and helped to form several new state and international career development organizations.

Proposed Bylaws Changes

Report of the AAUW Texas Bylaws Committee

The seven proposed changes to the bylaws fall into two categories. Proposals #1 - #3 are clarifying amendments and Proposals #4 - #7 relate to the district representatives. Each proposal below gives the rationale for the change and shows the proposed new language in underline and the proposed deletions in strikeout. The section prior to Proposals #4 - #7 contains background information related to all four proposals.

If members have any questions about the changes, please contact Bylaws Chair, Ann Berasley at

Proposal #1: To make the description for dual members consistent with individual members and life members in Section 2. Basis of Membership by specifying the dues paid by dual members.
Rationale:   Dues paid by dual members are not included this section as they are for individual and life members. This addition makes this section consistent with itself and with Section 3. Dues, which specifies when an individual member chooses to become a dual member, they pay AAUW Texas dues once regardless of the number of branches they join. 
Proposed Change:


Section 2.  Basis of Membership. 

a.     Individual members.

(1)  An individual member must be a member of AAUW. Membership in AAUW Texas is granted upon the payment of AAUW Texas dues. Individual members may be, but are not required to be, members of an affiliate formed as a branch.

(2)  Life Membership

    (a)     Paid. Paid Life Members of AAUW, who are members of affiliates within the boundaries of AAUW Texas are required to pay AAUW Texas dues.

     (b)     Fifty-Year Honorary. Fifty-Year Honorary Life Members of AAUW who reside or are members of affiliates within the boundaries of AAUW Texas are exempt from payment of AAUW Texas dues.

(3) Dual members. Dual members are individual members who have concurrent membership in more than one affiliate formed as a branch within AAUW Texas boundaries. A member may become a dual member without payment of additional AAUW Texas dues.
Proposal #2: To align the AAUW Texas bylaws with AAUW policies related to admittance and discontinuance of affiliates formed as branches.
Rationale: Over time, AAUW has changed its policies regarding how state organizations, such as AAUW Texas, participates in the process to admit new affiliates that form as branches and to discontinue existing branches. This change aligns AAUW Texas bylaws with the current AAUW policies. In addition, because this change refers to AAUW policies rather than incorporating the current policy, the AAUW Texas bylaws would not require updating when the AAUW policy changes.
Proposed Change:


Section 3. Branch Recommendations. The board shall participate in recommend to the AAUW action to be taken in regard to the admittance of new affiliates formed as branches or discontinuance of current branches within the organization as specified in AAUW policies.
Proposal #3: To clarify that the board of directors will determine the voting method or methods that each member may use to cast their vote regarding AAUW Texas business.
Rationale: The current bylaws language was added to allow AAUW Texas to implement one-member one-vote. This change clarifies the process used by AAUW Texas to implement this bylaws provision.   
Proposed Change:

Section 2. Voting.
c. Voting shall be held so that each in which all members may cast their vote. The board of directors will determine the voting method or methods in which members may vote. in person, electronically, or by mail.
Background Information on Proposals #4 - #7

Proposals #4 - #7 relate to the district representatives. Currently, the state is divided into four districts. Each district has at least one representative. Districts with more than 10 branches have two representatives. For the 2022-23 program year, each district will have one representative. The number of branches in Texas continues to decline, which has created challenges for district representatives as the distance between and the needs of branches change. As a package these changes provide the board and the district representatives more flexibility to determine the best way to provide services to the branches.

The following four proposals work best if implemented together, but because they can be implemented independently and therefore must be voted on separately. 

Proposal #4: To eliminate the minimum number of branches in a district.
Rationale: The bylaws require a minimum of four branches in a district. In 2009-2010, AAUW Texas had 45 branches. Since then, AAUW Texas continues to lose branches, with the current count at 29 that are more geographically dispersed. Requiring the board of directors to consider the size and number of the branches along with the distance among the branches when setting district boundaries would allow more flexibility to allow district representatives to best serve the branches in their district.
Proposed Change:

Section 1. Districts. The state shall be divided into at least four geographical districts, the total number and boundaries of which shall be determined by the state board of directors no later than March 31 on non-designated convening years. When determining the district boundaries, the state board will consider the size and number of branches along with the distance among the branches in a district. No district shall have fewer than four branches.

Proposal #5: To reduce the threshold for a district representative from one for each 10 to one for each 8 branches.
Rationale: Balancing the workload of a district representative has historically considered the number of branches served along with the travel distance/time to the branches in the district. Reducing the number of branches per district director to a maximum of 8 instead of 10 will help maintain a balanced workload.
Proposed Change:

Section 2. RepresentationEach district is entitled to one representative for each eight (8) ten (10) branches or fraction thereof.  
Proposal #6: To require the district representatives to join the branches in their district and for AAUW Texas to reimburse the cost of those memberships.
Rationale: Joining the branches has been an effective way to for district representatives to get to know their branches as they receive all the branch communications and are notified of the opportunities to participate in branch activities. Asking the district representatives to join three or more other branches at their own expense may be prohibitive for some members.
Proposed Change:

Section 3. Duties.

b.     The district representatives will join all the branches in their district. The state board will pay for the branch dues for the branches other than the district representatives home branch.
Proposal #7: To eliminate the requirement that district representatives host district meetings at each state convening.
Rationale: At one time, district representatives were elected at district meetings held at state convenings. Since the district representatives are no longer elected at district meetings, the reason for these meetings to be mandatory no longer exists. However, if district representatives need or want to hold a meeting the bylaws will remain flexible.
Proposed Change:

Section 3. Duties.
c.      b. At a state convening, the district representatives will may host district meetings with attendees from their district.
Dangerous Ideas
-Diane Roberts

Books have been challenged, banned, and censored ever since there has been the written word. A challenged book is one that a person or group has asked to have removed or restricted from a library or curriculum, and a banned book is one that has been removed. A censored book has had undesirable words and scenes removed or changed to less objectionable ones, such as Thomas Bowdler sanitizing Shakespeare to make it more suitable for women and children in the 19th century.

Reasons for banning books include depictions of sexuality, puberty, nudity, race, political issues, religion, and violence. Boston famously used to ban books so often that publishers liked it because it increased sales. Indeed, Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust, 42 years after its publication, the only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize, rose simultaneously to numbers two (The Complete Maus, which includes a second volume) and eight (Maus) on Amazon sales charts Feb. 6, 2022, since it was banned by a Tennessee school board for profanity and nudity.

Books on race and sexuality are disappearing from Texas schools too. Interestingly according to, Texas State Representative Matt Krause sent a letter on October 25, 2021, to the Texas Education Agency asking how many of the schools in the state had the 850 books listed on a 16-page spreadsheet, as well as how much schools had spent on them.

The American Library Association tracks book challenges and says that in 2020 273 books were banned (removed) or challenged, down from the 2017 number of over 416. Many more challenges are never reported.

Know your battles:

Parents and guardians have a right to supervise and restrict their children’s reading materials, and such restrictions are made easier by most libraries now having computerized catalogs and check-out.
There are also important considerations of age appropriateness and community standards.

Semi-humorous sliding range for dealing with a book being challenged:

·       Not for my age child
·       Not for my child at any age
·       Not for any child
·       Not for any adult
·       Complete destruction all copies of the book in the universe forever

How to deal with objections to books:

·       Be prepared with reasonable arguments and suggestions.
·       Meet with parents and suggest alternatives.
·       Agree to substitute a similar book for a class assigned text.
·       Meet with school principals, librarians, and PTAs to discuss issues.
·       Let the public know that objections are being made – publicize challenges.
·       Put a restriction on the book by age, grade, or parental consent on a young patron’s library record.
·       Make the book available only by request and keep in the back office.
·       Agree to remove the book from circulation temporarily.
·       Agree to remove the book from the library collection.
·       In a library serving a wide age range, books for older readers can be flagged.

Why is it all right to put disturbing material in books?
Many parents object to portrayals of difficulties that their children are going through themselves. It’s important to understand that seeing characters in fiction can help readers understand that they are not alone, that others have gone through the same traumas and have dealt with them –divorce, abuse, bullying, rape, grinding poverty, prejudice and indifference. Books portraying terrible situations can help readers understand and sympathize with the problems of others

One reading advocate, Jim Trelease, was asked why he read a book to his 10-year old son that made them both weep and replied that his son had always cried for himself, but Where the Red Fern Grows made him cry for something other than himself. (Spoiler alert: not one but both dogs die in the end)
It may be hazardous to a librarian or teacher’s job to refuse requests for removal, and it is a personal choice of how strongly to object to the removal of any book. Keep in mind that many books that are deemed harmless by most people can be on lists of objectionable books. This includes the Harry Potter books, Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Captain Underpants, Philip Pullman books (The Golden Compass and sequels), and hundreds of others.

Ask parents, principals, and other objectors to actually read a book they are trying to have removed. Sometimes this will have the happy result that objectors will see what they have disliked in context and decide that the book is acceptable after all.
Elected Officers  
Gloria Long
Terry Whaley
Barbara Cager
Margie Poole
Diane Roberts
Mary Smith

Elected District Representatives
Betsy Calabro
Marsi Liddell
Sara Wood
Emelia Hoefle
Lucy Barrington

Standing Committees
Ann Berasley
Pat Rehm

Appointed Positions
Crystal Garcia
Lynn Hagan
Karen Reichensperger
Marina Rivers

Communications Team
Malinda Gaul
Janani Janakiraman
Pam Wolfe

Program VP
Membership VP
Finance Officer

South District
Central District
North District
North District
West District

Public Policy

Diversity and Inclusion
SHARE Grant Coordinator
College/University Rep
Branch Services

UWT Editor/Email Communications