Read a banned book —September 24, 2010
Banned book week is September 25th – October 2, 2010. You might be asking yourself “Why is she writing about this?” Well, libraries across the country celebrate banned book week to let everyone know that they have the freedom to read anything that they choose to read. This subject is something that I am very passionate about, because I also want everyone to know that they have this freedom. This freedom I keep talking about comes from the United States Constitution’s First Amendment. The amendment reads that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. We also have something called Intellectual Freedom. We can only have Intellectual freedom when we have the following two conditions: that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate, and the second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of work, and the viewpoints of both the author and the receiver of information.
I am not saying you must read a banned book, on the contrary, I am saying that you have the right to read anything that you as an individual chooses to read. The public library makes available all types of books for all types of readers. If you can’t find the book that you are looking for, we can try and interlibrary loan it for you.
I was shocked when I started learning about Banned Book week and what it stood for and what some of the titles are those have been challenged or banned over the years. Some of these books you may have read in a high school or college English class. Most of these books are considered classic literature. A few of the titles of which I speak are “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Ulysses” by James Joyce, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien, and “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell.
The Hastings Public Library has all of these titles if you are interested in rereading a classic or would like to read it for the first time. “Think for yourself and let others do the same” is the theme of Banned Books Week 2010.