Link dump: Items for Banned Books Week 2009
Posted September 29, 2009on:
Our big event in September at my workplace was the Banned Books Readout, part of our celebration of Banned Books Week. We have been doing it for seven years, and this would have been my third year doing it. We, namely me, made the decision to cancel the event. And no, it was not due to some picket or protest. In our case it was a combination of certain workplace "politics," which I would rather not discuss now, and a serious case of campus apathy where we just could not get enough readers to read.
At any rate, it pained me to make the decision, but given the lack of interest, I had no choice. What I would like to do now with this post is collect a series of links related to Banned Books Week. This is mostly for reference purposes. We, again namely me, put up a small book display related to Banned Books Week; I will be taking a photo of it for my Flickr at some point.
- The Effing Librarian, irreverent as ever, reminds us that "we need to remember that the act of challenging a book is just as important a freedom as defending free speech against that challenge." Not something that I automatically agree with, since a lot of challengers are not exactly the well-intentioned person with a reasonable objection, but some fundie nutjob wanting to impose his/her morals on the rest of us. Again, my answer to the challengers? Don't like the book, leave it on the shelf. And yet, if we are to be fair, we do have to provide for the appeals mechanisms, or else, we are no better than they are. To me, it is something that is not as easy as it sounds, but I try to be fair.
- Julia Keller at Pop Matters writes about the "Secret Lives of Book Banners."
- Jessamyn West had a very thoughtful look at Banned Books Week, asking if it is still meaningful? Some good points and food for thought.
- Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite writers, comments on Banned Books Week briefly.
- Here is a story in Leesburg, Florida of another town segregating a collection due to pressure from parents and church leaders. When people say there is banning and challenges, this helps illustrate the issue. Because heaven forbid parents actually take care of their children instead of imposing their will on everyone else.
- The "saga" in Leesburg, FL continues, as we get "More Vulgarity Discovered at the Leesburg Public Library." Various links, some discussion. From Bookshelves of Doom.
- Resource Shelf has a post on resources for Banned Books Week.
- The Wall Street Journal weighs in by basically saying there is no censorship. If your library bans or removes a book, tough luck. Go buy it. Spoken like the capitalists that they are. Or you can look at it as another case of "I've got mine, Jack."
- Bookshelves of Doom point to a post about author Ellen Hopkins having her books pulled out of a school library and a visit by her cancelled.
- The Annoyed Librarian falls along with The Wall Street Journal crowd here. Often, the AL gets it right, but on this one, I think she (I assume it is a she) simply misses the issue entirely. Oops, actually, she was confused and wrote about "Band Books" on that post, but here is the "actual" post about "Banned Books."
- The Library Law Blog has a short interview with Amy Sonnie, who had her book, Revolutionary Voices, banned (yes, actually banned) by the Texas Youth Commission. Sounds like a book I need to buy for my collection.
- Even in Puerto Rico, they have to deal with issues of censorship, as reported in Global Voices.