I'm with the Banned

September 28, 2016

People are often surprised that books are challenged and banned in this day and age.  It happens.  More often than you'd think.  Every year at the library, we put up Banned Books Week displays...and it is my favorite week of the year.  It gives me the opportunity to open people's eyes to the fact that other people should NOT be able to tell you what you can and cannot read.


The books we read in high school such as Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, Their Eyes Were Watching God - all challenged or banned at points.  Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop has been on the banned list as it promotes violence against fathers.   Even one of the Little House on the Prairie books was challenged because of the comments characters made about Native Americans.  

What might surprise people most is that in the top ten list of banned books from 2015 was the Holy Bible.  Rape.  Murder. Incest.  

As a public library, we have a duty to represent the community and to NOT censor.  I take that very seriously. There are some very controversial things that have happened in the world that people take offense to, but as a public library, we are neutral and have information on ALL viewpoints.  If we didn't, how would you know what the "other side" thinks or believes?  We also have something for all segments of our community, which is quite diverse.


Come in and check out our banned books week display.  Check out a banned book and read it.  Chat with me....I love these conversations about the books and why they are challenged.  Information.  That's what we are here for.


I leave you with a link to the Office for Intellectual Freedom's blog.  A friend of mine (a librarian) has been involved in a challenge rather locally.  Read Gail Pittman's words on restrictions in the blog to see a very local situation. 


My parting words.....the library will have something to offend most everyone in some fashion.  Parents need to guide their children.  If we have a book or material you do not approve of for yourself or your family, pass it by.  Chances are that something you like will offend someone else.  We want to have it all, so that everyone has the freedom to read what they want.




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