Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read
October 01, 2012
September 30th-October 6th was Banned Books Week. It was a great opportunity to celebrate the freedom to read by perusing a few of those titles which have been challenged or even removed from library shelves because of tone, language, subject matter, age inappropriateness and a number of other criteria. Here at Mid-Continent, we believe that each library patron is responsible for determining what to read. We are in no position to prohibit access to information, even when that information might be deemed revolutionary or dangerous by some members of our society. Why? Because knowledge is power! In order to gain the valuable insights that make progress possible, we have to be exposed to a wide range of perspectives. Variety is the spice of life!
And let's be honest. Nothing makes something more desirable than prohibiting it. You want to see what the fuss is about! You want to decide for yourself. So you're ready to grab a challenged title, curl up in your favorite armchair and consider why your book was banned in the first place. What book do you choose? What's been challenged anyway? We've got you covered. You can find the perfect selection here.
By now you might be thinking: Hey! The library's a pretty awesome place! I'm sure they have everything anyone could possibly consider banning. We're sorry to have to tell you that this isn't the case. We'd buy one of everything if we could, but we have to function in the real world, the world with financial limitations on what we can make available to you, the end user. It would also be impossible to collect everything and house it within a single building (or even 30 buildings). We have to make tough collection development decisions sometimes. We don't collect textbooks. Most of the Rated R movies you'll find on our shelves either won Academy awards or were nominated for them.
We want you to know that this doesn't mean we can't get you a copy of that elusive book or film that we don't have available in the system though. We maintain working relationships with a large number of other libraries. We use Worldcat to submit and fill requests for the things we don't have. You can submit a request yourself or see a friendly staff member for assistance if this option interests you. Worldcat lets us work within necessary constraints while also providing the kind of access you deserve. It's a beautiful thing!
If you don't have the time to search through the lists of frequently banned books and check to see if the title you want is available, we invite you to check out our Banned Book displays-there's one downstairs by the computers and one upstairs in the young adult room. Anything you see on a display is available for checkout. That was easy, right?
So, what are you reading this Banned Books Week?
North Independence Branch