Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Banned Books Week

My dear old friend, Penny, heads up a public library in a small upstate New York town and recently posted this link on her FB page to a blog that was new to me. This post is a fantastic letter to a patron who wanted a children's book called Uncle Bobby's Wedding "reconsidered" (read banned). The author of the blog and the letter is Jamie LaRue, the head of the Douglas County Public Library in Colorado. It is a remarkable letter in all respects and should be held up as a model for civil discourse. He respects the patron's concerns, but beautifully argues for this book's place in his library.

The American Library Association's Banned Books Week is September 26 through October 3. Each year, the ALA spotlights the most frequently challenged books in libraries around the country and encourages people to read a banned book during that time. Here's a list of the classics.

Thanks, Penny. I'm off to buy a copy of Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Susan S. Brannen.

Images courtesy of the ALA.


quiltcat said...

Hi Dana. What a great example of civil discourse that letter is, and what great arguments he makes in favor of keeping that particular book in the library's collection...i am going to save that link, because my local library periodically comes under attack for having certain books in its collection and i don't think they have handled the issue nearly as well. I have to check their online catalogue to see if they have Uncle Bobby's Wedding in their collection!

Dana W. Fisher said...

Hi Cat,
I will definitely save that letter. Dealing with challenged material is always the worst part of a librarian's job and this letter is compassionate to the patron, but beautifully explains the librarian's reasons for having this book in the collection.. I'm glad iyou found the post helpful.
Kind regards,