Banned Book Week

A colleague at another institution once told me that a non-librarian faculty member had questioned librarians’ fondness for banning books. His reasoning was based on the annual celebration of Banned Book Week, which he understood as a celebration of limiting resources through censorship. Boy did he have the wrong end of the stick!

Librarians make a point of remembering that books and the ideas they contain are subject to banning because we value and strive to protect intellectual freedom. The American Library Association Code of Ethics says this, “We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.”

Limited funds and space don’t allow us to collect everything that is created. As a consequence we do have to make decisions about what makes it into our collections. These decisions are generally based on our goals to build useful and balanced collections largely driven by our understanding of our patrons’ needs. Think we missed something that should be in our collections? Please let your librarian know!

Stand up for intellectual freedom with librarians across the nation and go to a library and read a banned or challenged book!

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