or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Fight Tyranny: Read Banned Books

   September 20th, 2007

Banned Books WeekThis year's Banned Books Week is September 29 - October 6.

Which is rather fortuitous timing, considering this week's attack on the freedom to read in Lewiston, Maine.

Librarians (and teachers and others) often make a big deal of Banned Books Week (BBW), and many people don't understand why. Who cares? No matter how hard groups fight to ban a book, anyone can always go to the local bookstore and buy it anyway, right?

The point is that everyone has the freedom to read whatever interests them. Once a small group is permitted to make decisions for the whole, and force their views on everyone, then this is no longer a free society.

So, during Banned Books Week - and every other week of the year - read what appeals to you. And be a better person for it.

For more information on banned books and Banned Books Week, here are a few good web resources:

And: I know this is borderline immature (I draw my own borders), but, like the "Adult Books" sections of libraries, "BBW" also makes me giggle. Librarians often forget (or don't know), that our abbreviations and jargon sometimes also have other meanings.

banned, banned books, banned books week, bbw, censorship, freedom to read, libraries, library, public libraries, public library

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One Response to “Fight Tyranny: Read Banned Books”

  1. Kate Says:

    Banned Books Week is one of my favorite week of the year. I get to do the displays, which is so much fun. Also, I’ve met with a ton of First Year Seminar classes the past few weeks. During the beginning of the session while I’m waiting for them to arrive, the screen saver shows pictures of previous banned book displays. Students inevitably ask about it, and it’s been fun answering their questions!