Banned Books Week

This is “Banned Books Week.”  Let’s all take a minute to celebrate that in the good ol’ US of A we don’t ban books!  Why, then, have a “Banned Books Week,” you ask?

In honor of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, the American Library Association wants to take this week to proclaim that there are people who complain about what books and videos are in their libraries.  To make the “Banned Books” list all that is required is that someone somewhere has questioned the placement of a book in a library.

We should realize as good Americans that the only persons qualified to choose which books are “in” and which books are not are the librarians.

Clearly censorship is alive and well, at least in my community.  Why, a quick spin on Amazon.com would reveal thousands of books our local librarians do not want us to read!

The librarians who are proudest of their own strategic censorship are the ones who shelve Books in Print. A quick perusal of this compared to their local card catalog or computer equivalent makes it clear our librarians are choosy, choosy, choosy.

So if you find a book that is in your local library and you don’t think it should be, or if you find an erotic thriller shelved in the children’s section and think it inappropriate, You better get an MLS degree before you say anything, otherwise you are BANNING BOOKS!

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7 Responses to Banned Books Week

  1. John says:

    I think that the Books in Print reference is rather off. Certainly no library — not even New York Public — could afford to simply add everything put into BiP.

    You’re right that librarians tend to be rather possessive of their MLSs, as though they provide special powers beyond the reach of ordinary people.

    As I’ve said, the solution to the censorship problem is simply to privatize public libraries.

  2. This post has been removed by the author.

  3. Your observation of my Books in Print reference proves my point! Every library makes decisions as to what books it will order and what books it won’t. What is considered selection criteria for the library could be construed, in an extremely literal sense, as a form of censorship.

    I think it is no more censorship for concerned citizens to voice their concern about particular titles than for a library system to choose what will and what won’t be shelved.

  4. John says:

    I think it is no more censorship for concerned citizens to voice their concern about particular titles than for a library system to choose what will and what won’t be shelved.

    Agreed.

  5. John says:

    I suspect that you are mocking me.

    To be on the safe side, I will refrain from agreeing with you in the future.

  6. I am not mocking you; I do agree with you!

    A librarian’s discretion is no more and no less censorship than a concerned citizen sharing his or her opinion. Yet the latter is too often referred to as censorship.

    This is the reason I make the comparison.

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