Saturday, September 26, 2009

Banned Books Week

I'm not sure 'celebrate' is the word to use, since we're not exactly advocating the banning and censorship of books. Perhaps 'commemmerate' might be a better term for what we want to do: alert everyone to the fact that even in a country that prizes freedom, equality and the power of knowledge, there are people who want to restrict the access of others to information (books, usually) deemed 'unsuitable'.
I will willingly admit that there are books in the library that I don't like. I don't agree with the author's politics, their morals, their perception of history, or their writing ability. But I'm not here to dispense only the information that I personally like. I don't have the right to tell you what you can and can't listen to, read or watch. And censorship is a slippery slope.
You might agree with the banning of a particular book; it may fall perfectly in line with your sense of what is right and wrong. But book banning, like murder, gets easier and easier to accomplish as it gets done more often. So eventually you get to the point where people in the community start trying to block the information you are looking for and trying to ban the books you want to read.
The best way to preserve your rights is to exercise them: read a book today. We have lists of books that have been 'challenged' the last few years across America. Stop by and take I look, I guarantee the titles on the list will surprise you.

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