|Flag containing covers from 99 of the most banned books of 2000-2010,|
put together by The East Branch of Dayton Library
As I roamed the shelves pulling books for our library's display I was struck by the impact of banned books on all sections of the library. Can you image your library without Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, or Maurice Sendak? How about a library without Harry Potter, the Ingalls family or Winnie the Pooh? Could a library be complete without classic literature such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? How about a library that doesn’t include a dictionary (banned at one point in California schools due to definitions of sexual terms not deemed appropriate for children)? Katherine Paterson, whose book Bridge to Terabithia has frequently been challenged for a multitude of reasons including that death is a large part of the plot, perhaps says it best in this quote: “All of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf - that work I abhor - then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us.”
"A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone." - Jo Godwin
This week is about generating interest. It is about opposing censorship. It is about getting people to think before they recommend a book be pulled from a library shelf. Mostly it is about celebrating our freedom to read whatever we choose.