Do You Read Banned Books?

0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Sept. 27- Oct. 3, 2015

Banned Books Week

by Terry Roper, R10 Library Consultant

Have you ever read a great book that touched you personally and were then shocked to find out it had been challenged in some communities?  Books have been challenged for many decades and for various reasons.  You might be surprised to find how many of your favorite books are on the current list.  THis year the theme is Yound Adult fiction.  Click here to view a list of Frequently Challenged or Banned Young Adult Fiction 2014-2015

I don’t like every book I pick up and understand that as a professional educator, I need to be aware of content, age-appropriateness, and interest levels of readers and make recommendations based on these and other factors. Not every book is for every person but I will argue that it is the right and responsibility of the individual reader to make that decision.  A parent may step in and make decisions for their children based on their family values, etc. but a parent may not make this decision for any other  reader.

School libraries have challenged materials policies to protect readers from indiscriminate censorship.  Typically, when a book is challenged; as in a parent marches up to the circulation desk and demands that a book be taken out of the library due to language, images, or other content this parent deems inappropriate, the procedure is to hand this parent a form that will confirm the parent has read the work in question in it’s entirety, ask for specifics on perceived objectionable text, images, or other content and then the issue will move to a larger committee, usually comprised of school administrator, teachers, librarian, parents, and students.  If the committee as a whole, having read the material, decides the book is indeed not appropriate for their community, then I can understand the group concensus and why the book should be removed.  The key difference is that it is not one parent making a snap judgement based on a portion of a text but it the decision of an informed committee that knows their community.

There are a great number of resources to help promote banned books including the following.

  • http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/
  • http://www.ala.org/bbooks/
  • http://www.ftrf.org/?page=BBW
  • http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica

Consider reading or re-reading a banned book and rejoice in the fact you have the right to read what you choose.  You might read from the Bible [yes, on the banned books list], Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird or Maurice Sendaks classic Where the Wild Things Are .

If you are looking for me, I will be with the BANNED-reading a book I select for myself! READ ON, America

 

Terry Roper

Terry Roper

Terry Roper, Library Consultant for Region 10 ESC. has been an educator/librarian in the North Texas area for 22 years. She has worked on elementary and high school campuses as well as central administration. Ms. Roper has experience dealing with English language learners of all levels and works closely with the Region 10 Literacy Team. Terry loves dealing with literacy and information dissemination and talking about book stuff!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×