Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week

Even though it has a bad name, Banned Books Week, is an annual event in libraryland. It's a week to raise awareness that librarians sometimes battle to keep controversial books on the library shelves. It's a week to celebrate your freedom to choose to read what you want. Personally, I think it would be easier if it was called Freedom to Read week or something a little less confusing than Banned Books.

As a teen librarian I think about potential challenges on books more than I would like. So I appreciate the weeklong event to help educate the community on why we wouldn't want one person's beliefs to reflect the library collection. The old library saying that there should be something in the library that offends you is true. But the opposite is true too--you should be able to find a book that speaks directly to you as well.

So for the rest of the week (I forgot to do this yesterday), I will be highlighting some titles from our teen collection that has had challenges somewhere in the nation this year. Glancing through the lists of titles that have had complaints this year, the overall themes are homosexuality, sexuality, language, race, drugs, and the occult.
So to start it off, The Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar. This book series is all about the glam --the good, the bad, and the down right awful--of an exclusive private school in Manhattan. Part of the charm of these books is living vacariously through these rich, snobby teens. Challenged reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for the age group (FYI this series was written for high school teens). Now in its third season of its CW television series, this very popular book series has found success both on the small screen and in print.
That's all for now, see you tomorrow for the next book!