Banned Books Week

3 Oct

Two thing happened today: I received my physical diploma for my Master of Library and Information Science and I began reading 1984. Loads of other things happened of course, but so rarely do two well-fitting events happen on the same day I decided to write my first post about them.

Getting my MLIS is significant because during Banned Books Week all librarians and library patrons are reminded the basic rights the public library protects. Intellectual freedom of information are both ideals that libraries work hard to uphold. On one of my classes we were presented with some books to purchase. We could purchase them or not purchase them but we had to explain why. One of the options was a guide on how to pick locks. It seems like a bad choice. But when you really get to trying to explain it, there’s no reason that the library would not own this–should there be patron or community interest. It’s easy at first glance for many books to simply write them off as dangerous. But we all must remember that books themselves are not the danger, it’s what the reader does with the book in their real life that can become problematic. This is why censorship fails. Readers read and keeping them from books will only make them want to read that book even more.

I’ve never read 1984 and, it being banned books week, I’ve decided I’m long overdue. It’s not that I’ve been avoiding it, it’s more that so many people reference Big Brother and doublespeak, etc. that it feels like a useless thing to read it because…I probably get the gist, right? My husband recently asked me to watch the film adaptation of 1984 and I saw that it is so much more tragic and so much more heartbreaking than I ever could have imagined. It’s much less science fiction than I realized.
Listed are some resources on Banned Books Week and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, as well as a few other links to pertinent pages. Enjoy!

ALA Library Bill of Rights

Banned Books Week

Frequently Challenged Books

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