Monday, October 20, 2008

Celebrating Banned Book Week 09/27-10/4/08

Perhaps this post is a little late but I believe every day we should celebrate the idea of not banning books and embracing a place that encourages nonexistence of censorship.

How did you celebrate Banned Book Week? I will confess that I didn't do much on my part for Banned Book Week since I didn't want to raise too much controversy as a relatively new library aide at the elementary school I work at. Since I just recently opened up the library, I decided to have books on display that dealt with going back to school, being the new kid, and similar issues. Some of these books that I put up just happened to be "banned or challenged books." Since I wasn't doing a banned book display, I decided to put up books dealing with topics of using libraries, history of libraries, and how a book is made. In addition, I found a tween book and YA book whose plots dealt with teens dealing closure of a library or books being banned.

I discovered that Pasadena Central Library celebrated Banned Book Week with a display all month long during multiple visits. At another local library that I go to, I was disappointed that there wasn't any banned book display which surprised me but I didn't inquire as to why there wasn't one there.

Interested in reading more about Banned Book Week, visit ALA. They also talk about the difference between banned and challenged books as well. Check out ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom on the celebration of banned books through cartoon strips. Another great place to check out is the Banned Books Archive for more information.

I have to say that I really liked this year's slogan of ALA: "Closing books shuts out ideas." Just this past week, a teacher spoke briefly to his class at our elementary school library during the library orientation emphasizing the opportunity to read new books to gain new ideas. Hearing that made me smile. One last slogan I came across in my quest for more information on Banned Books Week was, "Free People Read Freely." Oh, so true!


SafeLibraries said...

My I suggest that you include some balance next time BBW is discussed. For example, some call it "National Hogwash Week." Take a look at all the linked documents contained therein. The last book banned in the USA was Fanny Hill in 1963, about 45 years ago.

As a former ALA Councilor said:

"It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don't talk about much--the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it's totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all."

Anonymous said...

Here is an article related to the topic, published in USA Today (Oct 24th, 2008).

I think we should still celebrate Banned Book Week because it helps to educate the public about a practice that is unconstitutional (in my opinion).