As you may know, I started this blog the summer of 2009 in order to fulfill requirements for my MLS. I was having a tough time coming up with a name because I knew I wanted to continue the blog after graduation, but I also wanted the title to be...me. So, I decided on I Read Banned Books because the topic is something I feel passionate about and I have a little experience in this area. At the time, I had been a library substitute for Leander and one day the library got a call from a parent that was very upset about a book their child brought home. The book contained sex, profanity, thoughts against Christianity, and homosexuality. The parent wanted the book pulled off the shelf for these reasons. Luckily, this school library had a process in place for challenged books. The principal was informed and a meeting took place with the parent, principal, and district librarian. The decision? The book was pulled off the shelf and all the library shelves in the district. Unfortunate, but all of those involved stuck to the protocol. All too often, one person complains, and a librarian backs down because they don't know what else to do but comply. I can't express how important it is to have a collection policy (why you choose books) in place.
Another year has come and gone and it is Banned Books Week once again. Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. September 25 - October 2 can be one week where we can celebrate intellectual freedom and the right to read.
This one of my favorite videos about book banning. I laugh every time!