Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Banned Books Week ... some thoughts

It's here - Banned Books Week!
Sept. 27 - Oct. 4

I've got three posts planned for the topic of banned books this week:
  • My thoughts - you know you want to know what I think
  • A call for reviews of banned books - if you've got 'em, I want to see 'em!
  • Links to other posts on banned books
I love to read. (Duh!) I have ever since I was a child. No one ever told me that I couldn't read a particular book. In part, that is what helped me develop my love of reading - I could explore whatever caught my interest.

Kiddo loves books, even though he can't read quite yet. As he grows, we're starting to read a wider variety of books and I see his personal taste beginning to develop - it's a wonderful thing to watch!

At this point I still regulate what he "reads", sort of by proxy. I order books from the library for him, I remind him of the books we have at home, etc. If he expresses interest in a topic, we find a book to read about it. As he learns to read though, I fully expect him to find books on his own, and it's here that the banning of books discussion comes into play.

There I things I don't want kiddo to read about. Some are simply inappropriate for his age, with themes or situations that he'll only understand when he's older. Others contain language I find offensive or just in poor taste. And there are some that I just don't like because of the messages they convey. As the parent of a young child (he's only 6, remember) I feel that it's my job to regulate the books he has access to, to choose books that will help him grow, learn, and develop a love of reading.

But at the same time, I will not deny any other person the opportunity to read a book just because I disapprove of it. In fact, down the road I may even encourage kiddo to read some of those books. Then we can discuss the questionable or controversial areas of the book with a discerning eye.

So those are my thoughts on this, the first day of Banned Books Week. If you've reviewed a banned book, I'll want to hear about it in my next post so stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

I echo your thoughts exactly on how to introduce books to your child as a parent. I don't think my little kids can read whatever they want and it's my job to help them choose appropriate books. And then when the time comes to let them loose trust that I have taught them well.

Anonymous said...

Heather J.: This post exemplifies why you're one of my favorite bloggers: your candor is refreshing. Plus the way you highlight others.

I try to do the same and have included you in my latest Sunday Salon post, along with others who are highlighting Banned Books Week:

Unknown said...

Cool -- looking forward to it.

Amy said...

Good point about having a dual philosophy on censorship. I disagree with censorship on a global scale and personally love reading banned books, but at the same time, I censor the books that I allow in my classroom library. I don't tell the kids what they can and can't read, and I don't care what they're reading as long as their parents approve, but it's my responsibility to carefully choose the material that I put out on my shelves. I feel the same way about what I'm willing to have at home.

Jana said...

As a librarian, I have an "ethical code of conduct" to maintain a balanced collection. - (maybe not the right terms together, but I have both!) I am in a special library, so my balance questions, are usually not concerning bannable titles, but ones of a dubious nature. I am also the church librarian, and you wouldn't believe what people donate and expect you to include in the collection! We represent the church's views - the collection is NOT balanced!!! It is biased!! By choice!

There must be enormous pressure on public and school librarians when titles are challenged. I've really been insulated from that as a medical librarian.

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