Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Take On Banned Books Week

Not a fan of the way it's promoted by the ALA.  I oppose censorship and the way that a majority of book challenges go down - one parent or set of parents wanting to dictate what everyone's kids can read.  Unfortunately, I think the ALA is guilty of propagandizing these events to make them seem dramatic, but in reality just keep people misinformed.  One of my biggest pet peeves is reading through blogs during this week and seeing blatant misinformation that I really can't blame the blogger for perpetuating.  The worst was last year when I read a blog where the author wrote that before Banned Books Week she wasn't aware that it was illegal to publish certain books in America.  That's just blatantly false, with the exception of things like child pornography.  The issue is the removal of books from schools and libraries because of the objections of a few individuals - I think ALA would be doing a better service to educate readers on what being "banned" actually means for a book.

Anyway, I don't intend to soapbox about it, but you can read my post from last year (and the comments where virtually everyone tells me I'm wrong) here.  I'm totally ok with disagreement by the way - I get why this is a big deal and that most people consider what I"m saying to be semantics.  I just happen to think that semantics are a big deal.

Also, you can read what Annoyed Librarian has to say about it in her blog on Library Journal here.

And finally, even if you think I'm totally wrong and AL is totally wrong and we're both just silly nit-pickers, please take a minute to look at Amnesty International's Banned Books Week page.  I would love to see the ALA highlight some situations like these as an example for American readers of what real banning and censorship look like (prison, detainment, and even death threats) in addition to the challenges that some authors face in our own country.


  1. I'm with you. You can read my take on the subject at Semicolon. Or just know that I'm in the "amen" corner.