From the ALA banned book site: “Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.”
Stop by the library, all our displays have what have been deemed “banned” or “challenged” books. Yes, those culprits of mind corruption such as Black Beauty, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Gone With the Wind…….just to touch the very tippy top of the iceberg. Check out the link above, stop in the library, educate yourself.
WHY have these books been challenged and removed from some shelves? Who has the right to tell you what you can and can’t read? (can’t resist but my answer is absolutely NO ONE). If the book offends you, move on. How would you like someone going through the library picking out books they personally deemed unsuitable to find they were picking out your favorite books and removing them from the shelves?
I have personally found that often, those challenging a book have not even read it. When one brave soul decided to read what the mysterious “they” were touting as being an absolutely terrible book that should be banned, I challenged her and told her to come talk to me after she’d read it. Was I proud of her for coming back and telling me she’d actually read the book. THAT was half the battle. What her opinion was, that wasn’t my interest, just that she’d read the book and made her own decision. Turns out she said the book fulfilled nothing the naysayers were proclaiming and she suspected the majority had not read the book either and were judging on a misquote.
Regardless of your opinion on the subject matter of the book, reading it gives you the knowledge of what is inside and how others think. It does not mean you agree, it means you have educated yourself. That is my personal goal during “Banned Book Week” – to encourage people to educate themselves by reading and to realize that our library will hold all sides of the topic.