Friday, October 3, 2008

Banned Books Week: Sept. 27 to Oct. 4

Can you imagine a library that's missing your favorite books, just because someone you don't even know decided their content is inappropriate for you -- and everyone else?

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

According to the American Library Association (ALA), these are just a handful of the titles that are challenged or banned every year. A challenged book is one whose value has been questioned by a member of the community, and has been requested to be removed from a library, school or other public institution. A banned book is one that has actually been removed from a library or school collection. Books have been challenged for a variety of reasons, including:

  • content unsuitable for the book's intended age group

  • sexual content

  • discriminatory content

  • offensive language

  • violence

  • occult or supernatural themes.

Every year, libraries across the nation celebrate Banned Books Week -- not to encourage challenges or bans, but to promote free and unrestricted access to materials. ALA's Web site states, "BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion, even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them." How do book challenges happen? Here's a typical scenario: a group of parents rally to remove a book, such as The Giver by Lois Lowry, from a middle school library. The challenge imposes their personal views on the entire student body by blocking all students' access to the book.

NCC Library is already prepared for this year's Banned Books Week, Sept. 27-Oct. 4. Our own Miss Gineen, who creates the wonderful displays you see each month, has put together an eye-catching exhibit about BBW (see photos, below). Stop by and take a look at some of the titles that have been banned in the past (you'll be surprised!), answer fun trivia questions, and give us your opinion about book banning. Feel free to take a seat and stay a while, even though the exhibit signs read "Banned" and "Forbidden." Celebrate your freedom to read any title you choose by crossing into the "Banned Book Zone"!

1 comment:

PhantomBeauty said...

I am glad that you had more infor about this display on your blog. I remember walking in after it was set up and wondering what was going on. Thanks for sharing this with us.