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Banned Books Week

September 26, 2009

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Celebrate freedom of expression and access to information by reading books that have been challenged and banned for national Banned Books Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 3! For suggested reading check out these lists of top 20th century classics and frequently challenged books in the last decade.
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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell has been at the top of the list 3 years in a row. Apparently the true story of the two male penguins named Roy and Silo at the Central Park Zoo who were sexual partners and raised a chick together just doesn’t sit well with some people. It’s been challenged for depicting homosexuality, being anti-family, anti-ethnic (are penguins an ethnic group?), having a religious viewpoint (what?!), and being unsuited for it’s intended age group. Check out Justseeds artist Mary Tremonte’s poster Roy and Silo:Powerful which also tells the penguins’ story.

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2 comments on “Banned Books Week”

Maybe I was buying into the hype of the monolithic ALA for a second. Forgive me. Perhaps my excitement harkened back to the days when I was a kid and I didn’t know what censorship even meant, and although misguided, Banned Book Week was my way of introduction to the idea. It’s true that the ALA grossly misuses the term censorship, which by their definition has nothing to do with government restriction, but refers only to challenges made library patrons and parents of students- which are not governing bodies. The organization makes no mention of the librarians in charge of acquisitions who refuse to purchase books on certain topics is just as prevalent. The popular titles on the ALA top banned books list of 2008 were by no means censored in the United States, have received mainstream acclaim, and accordingly the events planned by the ALA in celebration are corporate in nature.
I hope I have redeemed myself.

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