Smackdown! Librarians Versus Publishers!

How's that for a sensationalist headline? When it comes to age banding in the UK, librarians have picked a corner in the fight to keep publishers from printing suggested age ranges on childrens' and YA book covers.

If age banding goes forward, librarians would "ignore the classifications and shelve the books in the manner they felt was appropriate." Can you hear the cheers from the 800 or so authors who've joined ranks with the likes of J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman?

A representative of the Publisher's Association said they're looking forward to talking, but: "Age banding is there for those people who really don't know [what book they want], and there are a lot of those people out there – a point which libraries have not really taken on board."

As these three groups of adults continue to debate, I'm wondering if children across the Atlantic are seen but not heard. Has anybody surveyed them about age banding? Scientifically, I mean, across a slice of the population, so you can show us data instead of talking about "a lot of those people out there."

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