All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”
— Kurt Vonnegut,
I meant to celebrate Banned Books week with a quote and a banned book featured each day and I’ve gotten busy as usual. But I will try to continue this because I think it’s important.
“It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” — Judy Blume
Today marks the official start of Banned Books Week. Why don’t you celebrate your freedom to read by picking one up this week and reading it? You know you want to. . . Your rebellious side wants you to 🙂
I was searching Google to find the lists of banned and challenged books for my “Banned Books Week” display and, lucky me, I happened upon this article:
Libraries and schools throughout the country are ready once again to observe Banned Books Week. It’s that special time each year when some in the library profession point an accusing finger at parents, especially Christians or conservatives who might dare to question the value or appropriateness of certain materials available to youth. For 25 years since its inception, Banned Books Week has been warning America: “Beware of the ignorance and repression of censors! They will deprive us all of valuable knowledge and freedom.”
Just to set the record straight, Library selection committes are not “systematically purging libraries of any conservative or serious Christian viewpoints and instead, loading the shelves with left-wing propaganda and pornography.” That is just the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life. Actually, at my library, we have more books aimed toward a Christian audience than we do for any other religions. The Wiccans are kind of screwed in that department because most definately don’t carry the same number of books directed toward thier religion. So please. Don’t tell me we are “purging Christan viewpoints.”
And furthermore, as crazy as it sounds, many of us liberal librarians actually ARE Christians. I know, crazy, isn’t it?
I made the mistake of looking around at that website a little bit. Not the whole site, just the things in the sidebar. Frankly, I don’t know how they can claim to be Christian. Just go check it out yourself. I mean, talk about hate-filled.
Banned Books week is coming up at the end of September! I just voted for my favorite Challenged or Banned book which is Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut. It was a hard call, though. There are many great works of literature that are being challenged all the time by people who don’t understand the meaning of Freedom to Read.
What’s your favorite banned book? Go vote here at ALA’s Banned Books Week webpage.
Along these lines, I was helping a young man today find books similar to Harry Potter or the Chronicles of Narnia. I showed him two of my fave trilogies: His Dark Materials and The Bartemaeus Trilogy. (Both of them EXCLLENT btw). As I was explaining the Batemaeus story and plot I was totally getting vibed by a guy standing near us. The story revolves around a boy magician who conjurs up Bartimaeus, an infamous djinni Bartimaeus. I couldn’t think of the word, djinni so to discribe Bartimaeus I was using the work demon (which is kind of what he is in a very general way). Boy. Was I getting some dirty looks shot at me.