As a librarian I am fortunate that, aside from 90 days right when I was graduating from Library School. I haven’t worked in a public library since. Public libraries and school libraries are the battle grounds for book banning. You can read my older posts on banned books to see what I did deal with in those 90 days. Let’s say it was enough to make me not want to work in a public library again!
The American Library Association, which is the group that represents public librarians in the United States. They do a tremendous about of good in providing all types of continuing education for librarians and library staff, developing programming, and supporting libraries on Capital Hill. They engage the best speakers for the annual conferences and have the biggest freebie haul of any library conference! They also track challenges to books (attempts to ban) across the nation and compile the lists of titles and the statistics that go with them.
The Top Ten Titles
As you can see, most relate to diverse sexuality. Here’s my thought on those: If you do not want you child reading it, then go to the library with them and advise them yourself on their selection. Another parent it the same PUBLIC library, whose taxes contributed as much as yours to the library budget, maybe grateful for such a book. Consider this: A young person tries out all types of persona as they go through adolescence. Maybe reading a book can help them clarify their thoughts and get on with life. Why object to that?
In school I do think we have gone too far into “relevance.” “Relevance for whom?” Also we’ve gone overboard with “at least they are reading.” I have no objection to any of the books here being in a school library. I do think there are other less controversial books that would be better for class assignment. That said, when I pulled both of my kids out of the study of one book each, I did not object to the class reading it, and it both cases it triggered their painful memories of their early past before we became a family. I had a valid reason that was affecting them, I spoke to the classroom teacher, then to the principal and the whole thing was arranged in 5 minutes. Both times my kids went next door for literature and read the book the other class was reading. End of it.
Most years I try to read a banned or challenged book. I choose from the ALA’s lists. Here is the list for the past decade 2010–2019 Consider this–the Bible is number 52 on the list of most challenged books. Here are links to a few of my reviews of banned/challenged books on this list. I did not read one this year, so these are older reviews.
Reflections on the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Looking for Alaska by John Green (scroll down the page to the review)
Year at a Glance
Do you have a favorite banned or challenged book? Did you/are you doing any Banned Book posts this week? Leave me a comment or a link to your post.