Banned Book Week.....

Browsing the Banned Books Week Website, this year they are doing a 50 states celebration, where the Library Association of each state reads an except from a banned book.  I say "It Figures," because when looking up my state (Florida), the banned book and town they chose is my hometown, Lakeland, FL. According to the last US State census, there are 888 cities in Florida, and it so happens mine was the one chosen as the example for Florida. (sigh) Epic fail?

Anyway, check out the website above for the official ALA against Banned Books week. The Bill Moyers video essay was interesting to watch.

Will post it here as well, enjoyed his views on censorship and hearing his memories of being a kid and the power of the library. Some good quotes,  especially his line:

A lie can be exposed; censorship can prevent us from knowing the difference.

Browsing other links and information on banned books week, stumbled upon these interesting resources I urge everyone to check out.

  • This one's from March 2006, from Robert McCammon's official website. A county in Florida (of course) was considering banning A Boy's Life. The leader of this group had not even read the book but read some of the profanity used in it on a banned books website. Through the internet, McCammon found out it was being up for voting to be banned in their school, so flew down to attend the meeting and speak in its defense. Having read A Boy's Life, I do have to say this brilliant book does sit with you for years, an incredible nostalgic story. He spoke at the meeting and this was recorded, which is at his website and was a delight to hear, especially reading aloud one of the letters a young girl wrote to him about how much his book meant to her. Link here.

  • Apparently the inventor of "Banned Books Week" is Judith Krugg, a librarian who took it to heart that many books were challenged or banned. She began to even fight to keep books on the shelf that she herself found offensive, stating that her role as a Librarian was to provide the resources for people to make up their minds for themselves. Unfortunately she passed away from stomach cancer in 2009, but her article stands strong after her death. It was cute and brought a smile to my face about what her mother said when she caught her with a "naughty" book:

Ms. Krug credited her parents as inspiring her passion for free expression. In 2002, she told The Chicago Tribune about reading a sex-education book under the covers with a flashlight when she was 12.

“It was a hot book; I was just panting,” she said, when her mother suddenly threw back the bed covers and asked what she was doing. Judith timidly held up the book.

“She said, ‘For God’s sake, turn on your bedroom light so you don’t hurt your eyes.’ And that was that,” Ms. Krug said.

  • This article from Brain Pickings has some nice quotes from authors regarding censorship