Updated: Jun 23
September 18 - 24 is banned book week! Read till the end to find out how to get a free button!
Hot take, It's punk to read, and that's a hill I'll die on. (It's actually a hill most librarians will die on.) It's even more punk to read the ones they tell you can't read!
Never forget! You have the right to information and free thinking! The ALA's (American Library Association's) theme for Banned Book week is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." They continue saying "...Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities."
It seems like now-a-days no one agrees on anything. Everyone's divided on everything. We're all so sure our opinion should be the only one that's correct. I think most everyone can at least agree...that we all disagree.
So how do we breach this divide?
BOOKS!!! By sharing each of our stories we can relate to one another, sympathize, or even empathise with each other. We all have more in common than we think we do.
Books are how we keep our histories alive. By remembering our history we make sure we don't repeat it. So now more than ever...READ A BOOK! (No excuses! Audio books are a thing and the library has a million and one options for you to listen online totally free!)
READ! READ! READ! Librarians everywhere are begging you. (We also just really want to recomend you a good book. We're all nerds. Librarians are total nerds.)
So where to start?
Duh, the brand new display at the Bath County Memorial Library on 24 West Main Owingsville. Obviously.
We have banned graphic novels, banned audio books, banned book books. Did you know even the Bible is banned? You'd be shocked how many books are banned across America. "Charlotte's Web" is banned!! A classic! Ridiculous.
So, here's a list of some burned, oops, I mean banned books and why they were banned|:
-The Number One Banned Book in America!
1984 by George Orwell
Why It was banned:
Challenged for its pro-communist and sexually explicit content along side other subversive and dystopian stories such as, Orwell's "Animal Farm" (which we have by the way.) But, it is MOST known for being one of the most significant rationalizations for freedom of speech and expression.
In this librarians opinion you shouldn’t have an opinion on anything unless you know and have an understanding of what you’re arguing for OR against. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.
This book is undoubtedly controversial and taboo, and that’s exactly why you should read it! Form your own opinion! Know what you’re disagreeing with or agreeing with. Do the research! Knowledge is power- another hill librarians will die on.
-The Most Talked About Banned Book of 2022!
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Why It was banned:
The work won a special citation Pulitzer Prize in 1992. As David Corn of Mother Jones reports, the McMinn County school board deemed Maus inappropriate for 13-year-olds based in part on its inclusion of swear words and drawings of nude figures.
Holocaust denial is a very scary, very real thing. If we forget our history, we are doomed to repeat it. So, let’s all take a moment to remember why the Nazi’s burned books and the excuses they gave, like things that are specifically made for children being called “inappropriate.” When in reality, most of those same kids will go watch PG-13 movies with the F-Bomb and sex scenes in it but no one seems bothered by that for some reason. But, yeah sure, go ahead and ban the easy to understand cats vs mice book.
-So Many Banned Books About Race!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Why It was banned:
Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
Race is a touchy topic for many people, which is why we should talk and read about it. There are many misconceptions about this book. Remember we learn and relate to each other through stories. So, I challenge you to read it and make your own opinion. How can you know for sure you disagree or agree with something if you aren’t educated on that topic?
Read it I dare you! Reading. Is. Punk! Here’s the synopsis of this heart wrenching story:
“Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds -- the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what's right.” -The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Books, especially these kinds of books, are meant to challenge our world view and open our minds so we can be kinder to each other. So we can understand each other. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Matthew 7:12
Since so many librarians love this week our display will be up for the whole month of September!
You can get involved, help report censorship, find support, and more at the ALA website.
Don't worry I didn't forget about the buttons! So what do you have to do? Nothing! SUPRISE! You don't have to do anything! THEY'RE FREE BUTTONS! I just wanted you to read the whole article. Ha ha got you!
Support your local library, come get a 100% free library card, a really cool free button, zero requirements, and read a banned book today!