TGIF is a great Friday Meme hosted by one of my favourite blogs, GReads. It posts fun and relevant questions.
This week’s question: Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?
As a librarian, I’m obviously against censorship; it goes against everything I believe in (things such as freedom, expression, accessibility and discovery).
I remember as a kid our school library had a section of books that were “off limits”, books that we could read once we were a little older. Even as a kid I remember how oppressive this felt, how limited and restricted I was, especially because I had already read most of what was in my “allowed” section. My mom, being the champion that she is, contacted the library and gave them permission to lend me anything from that section that I wanted. She trusted that I would make good decisions, and she was involved enough to know what I was reading anyways. The kicker was that the librarian told her that no parent had ever done that before. Most of the books were Christopher Pike or R.L Stein books (nothing too graphic, I assure you), and it just breaks my heart that no one else thought to challenge this. So no, I DO NOT think that the education system needs to be more strict.
Some of the best books are banned books; books that challenge the norm, give agency and voice to groups often ignored and speak truth no matter how gritty. Those are the kind of books that I want my kids to read, or at least have the option to read.
ALA Banned Book Week Website