If you did not know, this week is Banned Books Week. Here's a little blurb about it taken from the American Library Associations website...
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
I just love that something meant to stifle and inhibit, does the exact opposite and brings a community of book lovers together.
Is there anything better than renegade librarians?
I won't go into a elegant lecture about the injustice of censorship because the fact that you are reading my blog (and probably others) says enough. This is freedom of speech at its best. We all have the freedom to publish our thoughts, experiences and beliefs on the internet for all to read, and unless the words are not our own, no one has the right to stop us.
That's a pretty powerful thing if you think about it.
Instead, I'll share some cool stuff I found online corresponding with this topic...
The 100 Most Challenged Titles from 2000-2009. Oh, look at what #1 is.
Quote of the year..."If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
-John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Did you know...
Salman Rushdie had a death sentence (fatwa) placed on his head from the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran and had to go into hiding for years because his novel, The Satanic Verses, was considered sacrilegious. I have always been fascinated by him, and I dream of meeting him one day. Also he frequents as a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, so he must be cool.
I mentioned this company yesterday, but I just have to share again because they are too great. They are the Toms for books.
Top 10 Far-fetched Reasons that Books have been Challenged. Anne Frank...because it was "a real downer" requested by professionals from a textbook committee!
And last but not least...
Fifty Shades of Censorship. Because you had to know this book would come up.
There is really so much out there on this topic, and I find it all incredibly fascinating. I do believe people have the right to complain about what's in a book as much as the author had the right to write it. I just cannot justify excluding everyone else from the ability to read it.
The discussion of school curriculum and libraries is obviously a touchy one. As a mother, I can understand both sides of the issue. There are certainly some (mostly extreme) materials I don't want my son to be reading, but I get heated at the idea of some other parents banning an important piece of literature because it doesn't align with their personal beliefs.
So, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Where do you stand on this issue? Do parents and community members have the right to dictate what's in a school's library and/or curriculum?
Link up below if you choose to blog on this topic (old posts are welcome too!)
For next week (I'm excited about this one):
Let me start by saying, my most searched keywords that lead to my blog are "Literary Costume Ideas". I did one last year, so you know I have to do it again! And I want your input too. You can share ideas, photos, tutorials, whatever! I think this one will be a lot of fun. :) Literary Costume Ideas....go!