Saturday, October 3, 2015

The 180-turn of Banned Books Week

If you're a long-time reader, you may recall that last year, my Banned Books Week attempt to educate my community on the subject was ignored.  Going into this year's recognition of censorship and the freedom to read, I was feeling a bit down.  I wasn't going to make a display or anything.

And then I made a post on my library's Facebook page.

"Psst ... next week is Banned Books Week, when libraries and bookstores across the country celebrate our freedom to read, and our freedom from censorship.
"Will you read something dangerous, such as John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" (challenged and restricted many times for profanity) or the "Harry Potter" series (frequently challenged/banned for featuring the occult)?"

Wouldn't you know it, the local TV station called to set up an interview.

Lesson: Always be careful what you post on Facebook.  You might find yourself scrambling to throw together a book display for a television appearance.

This time, our display case was in use by a private collection, so I made a larger display on the table in one of our meeting rooms, plus a smaller display on a table in the kids' area.

Introductory sign

Information and graphs
More information people could peruse
We own half the books on the 2014 Top Ten list.
And so, with a more prominent display and TV coverage, I actually got people discussing Banned Books Week.  The highlight of discussions may have been when the city police chief came and asked if we had the Anarchist's Cookbook (for the record, not only do we not, but I also couldn't find a library copy in the entire state).

No parents or children commented on the smaller display, but I did see a teen study it.

Did you have a good Banned Books Week?  Read anything special for it?