the Framingham Public Library

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    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Today we had a lively discussion in the high school library regarding banned/challenged books, and it occurs to me (and another librarian) that this is an unusual concept to many -- and unusual that people would bother to celebrate it. But think on this: imagine living in a time or a place where reading certain books or even owning them was criminal or heretical or profane -- a place/time where having a particular book in your house could get you and your family thrown in jail or your house burned down. Now, I admit that these may sound like extreme circumstances, but they happen -- even recently. And challenges and bannings still happen -- even in the USA. Remember when Harry Potter came onto the scene? In 2001 a religious sect held a bonfire that burned 1.5 million Harry Potter books in Iowa. Michigan and New Mexico also had book burnings for Harry Potter. Communities gather together sometimes to exclude books from school curriculum and from school or public libraries -- and this is done, of course, with the intent to not allow anyone the opportunity to read those books. So take a little time to consider this and maybe read Fahrenheit 451, and appreciate the books and magazines that line the shelves of your classrooms, bookstores, and libraries -- untold opportunities lie within -- and not everyone is able to access them!
    (Banned and challenged books are still on display in the YA area -- through Tuesday.)

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