This week is banned book week, so I wanted to take a minute to talk about something near and dear to my heart.
As a Christian, I've known many people who would ban books. (Notice I say known because I left that church, baby.) I can't say I don't understand where the mentality comes from a wee bit, because if you were to find erotica in your child's school library, wouldn't you be a little upset? But who defines what erotica is? For instance, Judy Blume's, Forever is a fabulous, touching book about a girl's first sexual experience. To some it's erotica. To most of us, it was pretty enlightening and helpful. Are You there God? It's Me, Margaret, taught me things I wouldn't have learned anywhere else. It helped me feel normal. Nether of these books would be on school book shelves if it were up to some people.
So I agree that there has to be some oversight in a school library (I'm talking elementary school here) I pretty much trust the ALA and the school librarians... they really do have the best interest of our children at heart. But highschool and public libraries are a whole different ballgame and banning books and control of ideas frightens me.
I leave you with this from the ALA press release:
CHICAGO – Are books like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” or the Harry Potter series available at your public or school library? According to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), due to book challenges, more than a book a day faces removal from public access in school and public libraries. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.
You can read the whole press release here.