Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Get Your Head Out of the Sand

"People want to stick their heads in the sand." I overheard this comment from one of the members of the Class of 1957 as they toured the library this past weekend as part of the homecoming festivities. This one comment was worth the effort of putting up the display. I'm a firm believer in every person's right to free access to information. However, I have to admit that I was a little worried about our display of banned books. I just wasn't sure how some of our older alumni would react. It turns out that they were very interested in the issue. One book in particular caught their eye -- And Tango Makes Three. As I described in an earlier post, this is a children's book based on a true story about two male penguins who take turns sitting on an orphaned egg. I told them that book happened to be the book most often challenged or banned this year. After a few more minutes, they continued on their tour. It was as they headed upstairs that I overheard the comment about people sticking their head in the sand. Later on their way out of the building, several of them picked up bookmarks and copies of the banned books list. One of the women told me she was going to take one to her daughter who is a high school English teacher.

I don't really know what I expect when I put up the banned books display each year. I guess I just want people to understand that censorship is dangerous. It may not seem like a big deal if one book is removed from a library shelf or a school reading list. But, that's the way all civil liberties are eroded -- one small step at a time. So, it's time we get our heads out of the sand!


Squarehead said...

I stumbled onto your blog while randomely clicking the "next blog" button at the top of my dashboard page.

I can't beleive that anyone is banning books. This is America. Of course I've heard news stories about controversal subject matter etc. etc.. But these are actually banned books?

I once served my country, quite some time ago, and when I enlisted I took an oath. The oath said, in part, that I swore to "protect and defend the Constitution".

I am sorry, but I really had no idea that books were actually being banned. I am one of those people who needs to take my head out of the sand, and out of somewhere else too.

Enjoying your blog. Thank you.


Lisa said...

Yes, unfortunately some people feel that they can choose for everyone what is appropriate. That's why every year I try to do a display and get the word out as much as possible. It is a minority that does the banning, but unfortunately they can have a big impact. Thank you for your service, and thanks for stopping by the blog. Read a Banned Book!

Squarehead said...

I will read a banned book. I once read a "band" book but that was different. It was about The Doors. I'm sure that some would like to make that band book, a banned book.....This is getting stupid so I'll stop now.......I really like that band, The Band. I hope no one tries to ban The Band......Okay, I'm really sorry....Still enjoying your blog. Learning a lot. Thanks.

Lisa said...

Sorry for taking so long to respond, but I was hit with a bout of food poisoning the last couple of days. Yeah, you're probably right. There would be some people who would want to ban the "band" book. Unfortunately, there are people who could find something offensive in anything. Oh well, all I can do is keep reading and spreading the word. Thanks for stopping by.