Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Banned Books Week 2007

Banned Books Week 2007, September 29 - October 6, is almost half over; have you read a banned book? What about one of the most frequently challenged titles? Here are a few links from ALA and information pertaining to Banned Books Week.

One of the most difficult aspects with this week is understanding a challenged book is not necessarily banned and vice versa. ALA has a section on Banned Books site titled "What's the Difference between a Challenge and a Banning?" that makes it a bit less complicated.

"A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. The positive message of Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection." (ALA, Challenged and Banned Books)

I remember an exercise we did for a class while I was getting my MLIS at Pitt; we held mock school board meetings (per say). I may have discussed this before, if so my apologies and you can skip this paragraph. Each group of six or eight students was divided into two committees, one the school librarian and board members and the other enraged parents wanting a book removed from the library. I was assigned to be one of the parents and found it both enlightening - and distasteful - to present an opinion completely against my beliefs.

Yesterday morning I put up a small Banned Books week display outside of the resource center. Many of the children's literature classes have been discussing this topic and I was curious to see if it would garner any attention. I placed three large pieces of blank tagboard on the wall, along with pens for opinions, and asked the students to write what they thought about Banned Books Week, censorship verses collection development, and book challenges. So far, no takers.

Tags: ,

No comments: