Next week, September 19th through 23rd, is an important holiday in the library world. It’s Banned Books Week!
No. We aren’t celebrating banning books. That’s terrible! Instead, we celebrate the books that a few people try to keep away from the rest of us.
Sadly, the books that people want to ban tend to have two basic things in common: they are by or about BIPOC people, and they are by or about LGBTQIA+ people. A few sad little people insist that everyone be blocked from hearing the voices of people who may not be like themselves.
There is a pretty simple strategy if you don’t like a book, don’t like an author, or don’t like the contents of a book: Don’t read it. Yep, that’s right. Just set it down and find something else. Done.
Libraries are for everyone. We have books that let everyone see themselves in the library. We also have books that let everyone stretch themselves, to learn about other people, to develop interest and empathy in the way other people live.
Libraries struggle against censorship, and the suppression of ideas and books. Join us in this! During Banned Books Week, the American Library Association is asking for short videos of people (two or three minutes) reading from a challenged or banned book. Send us a video of yourself reading one of these books! We’ll post it to our YouTube channel, and send it to the ALA. Need a copy of a challenged book? We have a lot of them in our collection, and are happy to share them with you!