That Special Time of the Year

I feel I should say something about banned book week, even though Aaron and I pretty thoroughly covered this topic last year. So: the short version.

Banning books is stupid. The end.

OK. I’ll elaborate, but just a little: Banning books never works. It serves only to get more people to read a book they would have otherwise ignored because it has now been made interesting by the very fact that someone doesn’t want them to read it. And it’s silly. Especially nowadays, when pretty much anything can be had on the Internet, so long as you are smart enough to type a title into that little box in the Google thingy and are willing to spend five whole minutes looking at stuff online. Which, if you’re the sort of person who would go looking for a banned book, is not exactly a challenging task. Some of us might even consider it a species of fun.

So, to all the Sarah Palins of the world: keep banning those books. Because if something doesn’t work the first couple of thousand times, you should just keep doing it. It’s what Jesus would do.

2 thoughts on “That Special Time of the Year”

  1. Friday, my “just graduated from Library school” co-worker and I had an inpromtu discussion on banning books. He felt that in library school, they stressed NEVER to ban a book. I told him that librarians have always banned books, just by not buying them. We do not subscribe to magazines in the same manner. You won’t see Playboy in most public libraries, nor the National Inquirer. Is that banning? If a librarian only has a limited budget, she will not purchase books that may be too far right or left for her patrons. She must “meet the needs” of her users, and that may include NOT including many titles. If someone questions a book that is already owned, I hope that the librarian will stick to the policy, as the Sarah Palin librarian did. But that is for those “tried and true” classics, and books that have wonderful reviews and lots of merit. If a librarian knows her community, it is not often that she purchase something that would upset the patrons enough to ask for banning. Just my two cents. thanks.

  2. What you’re describing Donna is just part of collection development. Any given library couldn’t possibly collect every publication so they decide on just those that fall within the focus of their purpose and the needs and interests of their users, as you say. But that is not the same thing as banning, censoring or challenging books already selected and in the collection. I suppose we could look at banning as collection development after the fact but that’s kinda odd.

Comments are closed.