Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Banned Books Week!

No, that doesn't mean we're celebrating people who ban books--quite the contrary!

BANNED BOOKS WEEK is an initiative of the American Library Association designed to celebrate the freedom to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information, and draws our attention to the harms of censorship.

What happens when someone wants to ban a book? Hopefully a librarian, teacher, or community member stands up and speaks out to preserve the freedom to read it for any who want to.

People try to get books banned--removed from the public library, or the school library, or the school curriculum--all the time. From Harry Potter to Captain Underpants, from To Kill A Mockingbird to Fahrenheit 451 (ironically, itself about a society that burns books!), you will find familiar and many times inexplicable choices on the list of "Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books" through the decades.

Banned Books Week is a yearly opportunity for librarians (and teachers, and community members) to stand up for the right to read.

WHAT are those librarians up to now?

Buena Vista Branch has a display of books that have been banned or censored, on a cart in the central aisle of the library. You can find examples at Northwest Branch on the ends of the bookshelves in the adult fiction section. Central Library has a display that includes lists of banned books, plus a fun contest for our patrons to identify banned books from various age groups and genres by guessing what book is in each jar. (There will be prizes.)

Support the freedom to read: Check out a banned book today!

(Here's a cool interactive timeline highlighting one significant book from each year between 1982 and 2012 that was banned or challenged. Be sure to click on "more" under each book if you want to know the whole story.)

Cart at Buena Vista Branch; featured Banned Books at Northwest Branch.

No comments: