Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I HATE Banned book week...

I absolutely LOATHE "banned book week". And even though I love Unshelved, today they did a great job illustrating WHY I hate it:

http://www.unshelved.com/archive.aspx?strip=20080206

Asking for a book to be removed from the collection or moved to the adult room is NOT the same as banning it.

And not everyone who has concerns about a book is an evil rube.

I supervise my children's check-outs. For instance, last week I returned one of my daughter's choices to the shelf and refused to let her bring it home.

I felt that "My Daddy Drinks Too Much" was a bit heavy for a four-year-old who thinks that everyone's daddy must be as great as hers.

Now, I wouldn't ask for the book to be moved -- I can see how some kids might need it, and I'm happy just previewing books for my daughter....

But I think it's wrong to treat parental concerns about a book with a knee jerk reaction of "Free Speech Forever, Fascist Pig!"

A lot of parents don't have the time or ability to screen their child's reading material. And parents tend to view school libraries and children's collections as "safe spaces" that won't destroy their child's innocence.

So of course they feel a bit violated when their five-year-old comes home with "My Daddy Murdered My Mommy and Buried Her in the Basement." And when a librarian treats them like a moron instead of dealing with their concerns, he turns the library into "The Enemy."

Read the "Banned Book" reports in the ALA magazine some day. And then tell me that "Banned Books Week" doesn't just fan the flames of information professional hysteria!

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