Throughout the country, teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," and "To Kill a Mocking Bird," may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made against them.
Since 1990, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. Challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents!
In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the ALA and the Ridgefield Library are recognizing Banned Books Week this week. It is an annual celebration of our right to access books without censorship. Why not take part? Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week. Stop by the Ridgefield Library to learn more and check out a banned book!
Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio