Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Books Week - September 27 to October 4

Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book

I know this is little late, but I wanted to remind you that this is banned books week. I don't know about you, but the idea of banning any book appalls me. If we all work together we can make sure that this blatant attack on our right to read is thwarted.

You might be thinking that banning books can't be that bad a thing to do. Think again. These are just a few of the books that people have wanted to remove from libraries over the years:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Harry Potter series
Bridge to Terabithia
The Goosebumps series
A Wrinkle in Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
James and the Giant Peach
Where's Waldo?

You can see a more comprehensive list on the American Library Association website , and I think you will be surprised to see what is on this list.

Random house has created a fantastic website, their First Amendment First Aid Kit. On this site you will find out how truly frightening book banning is, and you will also find out what you can do to make sure that out First Amendment right is honored and that our books, and our right to read what we wish, are protected.

For more information about Banned Books Week take a look at these other websites and web pages:

The Banned Books Week website
The Info Please "Books Under Fire" article
What you need to klnow about Banned Books Week on
2008 Banned Books Week Report on

“[I]t’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


SafeLibraries® said...

Please add some balance next time you repeat ALA propaganda. Here is some balance:

"The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."

Marya Jansen-Gruber said...

I do not consider this to be propaganda. Instead these are my personal opinons and I invite my readers to take a look at sites that I think are of interest. I have read many of the books on these lists and personally would be grieved if they were removed from libraries.

SafeLibraries® said...

Me too. I do not favor removing books from public libraries, despite my efforts to empower communities to oppose the ALA's potentially law defying policies.

Marya Jansen-Gruber said...

Please explain what you mean. What would you like to see happening in libraries?

SafeLibraries® said...

A good question. I could be here for a year answering this one. It's all over my site. But let me try to give an example.

In Howell, MI, parents of public school children wanted to remove a book from the school on the grounds that it was pervasively vulgar and included things like bestiality. Sounds reasonable, right? It's a school after all teaching the 3 Rs, not bestiality. Further, it's perfectly legal under Board of Educ. v. Pico and for other reasons.

But the ALA interjected itself claiming the real reason the parents wanted the book removed is that the parents were racist. Who cares about the Pico case when you can use racism as an excuse to sidestep the case, right?

I made an effort to inform that community of the ALA's actions, but it was too little, too late. The kids still get to read the bestiality book in public school. And I have every right to make that effort. Does the ALA have the right to call people racists falsely?