Library Links: Banned Books

I’m currently incredibly busy planning a program to celebrate bats, researching ways to improve my library association’s website, collecting results from a survey I’m overseeing and preparing for a conference panel I will be on at the end of October. Despite all of this, I haven’t forgotten that this week is Banned Books Week! But since I have no time to really say anything else about book banning – a topic I touched on as part of my recent library ethics post – I thought I would point you to some incredibly good reads about banned books. Enjoy! censorship

  • Study: School Book-Banning Has Gained Support – The Public Library Association blog reported that a study last spring showed a 10-point increase in the number of parents arguing that school librarians should keep children from borrowing inappropriate material. As the article states: “28% of adults now support book banning in school libraries,” a fact that could have an impact on all libraries. Studies are not always reliable indicators of widespread public opinion, but it is a troubling statistic.
  • RA for All on Banned Books Week, free speech and parenting – RA for All has been my constant go-to for all my Readers’ Advisory needs. I love her perspective on incorporating free speech issues into parenting. And this is an excellent way of explaining free speech:

    Free speech works best when you get personally affronted by something someone else says or writes and you do nothing but use your free speech to express an alternate opinion back.
    Free speech FAILS when you are offended by something and then seek to ban it from everyone else.

  • Three Reasons to Read Banned Books – Beyond bringing awareness about why banning books shouldn’t be allowed, Banned Books Week is an excellent opportunity to discover some great books. The majority of books that get banned – for whatever reason – are amazing books. Persepolis. And Tango Makes Three. The Harry Potter series. To Kill a Mockingbird. Beloved. All are amazing books and all have been challenged or banned. And that is only naming a few of hundreds! Thinking Outside the Books offers multiple reasons to check out a banned book. The American Library Association offers an extensive list of banned books for you to check out.
  • Banned Books Week: All Controversy, All the Time – The RadicalLibrarian offers a cogent examination of Banned Books Week and what it means in today’s society. This is a thoughtful response to recent criticism that argues that we’ve risen above the need for such a week.
  • Banned Books Blues 2015 – In a similar post, Agnostic, Maybe discusses the many ways Banned Books Week itself has been challenged. He’s right on target with his list of rebuttals for those who are against the event.
  • Katie’s Unsolicited Opinions on Banned Books Week – I couldn’t resist giving Katie at Words for Worms some love. Her post lists the top reasons a book is banned and then offers her own, often hilarious, rebuttals.

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