Banned Books

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D’oh. I missed it. Banned Books Week was officially September 28 – October 3rd.  But isn’t it always time to consider the examples of censorship and free speech in our society?  What are the limits of free speech in writing?  Are there topics that shouldn’t be broached in school? If so, what are they and why?  Are there topics or voices that shouldn’t be represented in a library why or why not?

  1. Great Map: Banned Books Map.  It shows many local examples of banned books and local disputes.  Are there any in your area?  Click on a few, have you read these books?  Do you agree that they should be banned?
  2. What is the policy about books in your district? Are there any banned books?
  3. Nationally, what are the most banned books?
  4. What are the most used reasons why people ban books?
  5. Historically, what are the other
  6. Why would there be a movement to highlight banned books week? The American Library Association has a proclamation about it -why do they feel this fight is so important?
  7. The banned book issue comes down to an issue of free speech.  Like all personal liberties, there are limits to them (like yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater.
  8. Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” The “right to use a library” includes free access to, and unrestricted us of all the services, materials and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.  – What do you think about this?
  9. Are there any books, ideas, content or voices you think should be censored or banned? Why?
  10. What is your belief that people should do when they run into controversy of any kind?  How should we seek to resolve it?

Resources:

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