Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Your Freedom to Choose What to Read
The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association (ALA) has kindly posted my Library's promo trailer for Banned Books Week (Sept. 24 through Oct. 1, 2011) on its new BBW website. Thank you, ALA OIF!!!!
Click here if you'd like to watch our video on the ALA OIF Banned Books Week website, or click here to watch it on the ALA OIF Banned Books Week Facebook Wall.
To celebrate Banned Books Week, we should each read a banned or challenged book to see what all the fuss is about. My Library has a "banned book" trailers playlist on its YouTube Channel. There you will find some books that have been challenged or banned from libraries.
Your freedom to choose what you read should not be taken for granted. There are always people who will exert pressure upon those in political power to exclude from schools or libraries books dealing with subjects they don't like or of which they disapprove. It is censorship, whether one spins the outcome as protective (e.g., "We must protect our children from whatever we decide we don't want them to read about because we think it's bad") or punitive (e.g., "We must censor those who wish to propagate ideas to which we do not subscribe, because our thinking is good, and theirs is bad").
Is it acceptable for parents or guardians to choose what their own children may read? There are times when this seems appropriate. May each individual adult decide what s/he reads? Certainly.
But nobody should have the right to decide for everyone else in the community what shall or shall not be permissible reading. Make your own individual choices, but allow others to do the same. Other people are just as smart as anyone else, you know. Well, not as smart as moi, but I'm a feline, and exceptional at that.
So enjoy reading what you want, when you want, and where you want. Your favorite library is a good place to start.
Glad to be a Freedom Feline,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
BBW News Beat
P.S. Totalitarian states that control all information sources are a continued threat to everyone on the planet, including us felines. This reminded me of "1984," by David Bowie, from his album Diamond Dogs (1974). Bowie had planned to produce a stage musical based on George Orwell's book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, but this never materialized. My Library has a book trailer that describes Orwell's masterpiece, which might help you decide if you'd like to read the book.