Banned Books Week and You
For 24 years, the American Library Association has celebrated the freedom to read with Banned Books Week. Intellectual freedom is a liberty, and the role of the public library in a democracy is to protect the freedom to read, compute, listen and view. This role is increasingly undermined and sadly, throughout much of America, underfunded.
What a library holds in its collection is sometimes a hotly debated topic. It is easy to dwell on the grand and highly visible threats to the freedom to read such as the USA Patriot Act or the organized efforts being made in some areas to remove any material on gay rights issues from library shelves. Sometimes, though, the most persistent and emotional efforts to impose individual personal values and standards on a public library collection come from within a community.
The staff at AADL does not presume to judge the values, intellect, or motivations of those who use library materials when we select for this collection. Our mission is to provide a balanced collection of materials representing as many views on issues as we can afford. If you find a title objectionable, please take advantage of the Library's Reconsideration Request process. That is a liberty, too. But, think about it first. Think about it alot. The title that you object to is someone's favorite title. They have read it many times. They may even own it. Perhaps they recommended it to you.
During the week of September 24-October 1, consider adding a banned book to your reading list.