Thursday, August 27, 2009

Banned books map

The American Library Association has rolled out a Google Map showing the locations of "banned books" in anticipation of its annual September farce, "Banned Books Week."

The celebration is a farce because there are no "banned books" in America!

Every time a parent has the audacity to question the appropriateness of a library book, this challenge can be reported to the American Library Association and it counts as a banned book even if the book was never removed!

So, for example, if your local elementary school put a book in the school library containing graphic images of violent sex and enough parents challenged it, that title could become eligible to appear on on the ALA's annual banned books list.

Banned books week is the American Library Association's way of saying, "We are the high priests and priestesses of books. How dare you mere mortals challenge a librarian's decision to include a book (or unrestricted internet access) in our libraries!"

We librarians, of course, are too savvy to come right out and say that. We hide it under a pretext of defending the first amendment.


professor ed said...

Ah, the American Liberal, woops I mean Library, Association. Especially at its annual spring/summer meeting it conjures up perceived "goblins" then spends our dues to combat these fathomless charades. In my 30 plus years of residency in libraryland, I cannot recall our esteemed ALA calling the CENTER of the political spectrum its home.

Kevin said...

Do they also track where librarians have refused to include certain books in their collections?

Dennis said...


Of course not. Nor do they talk about librarians who remove books from the library because the librarians don't think the books are politically correct.

For example, I once worked for a public library in which one of the library staff confided in me that the children's librarian was discarding books which advocated traditional family values.

da HOOK said...

After four weeks on top of the NYT bestseller list, Michelle Malkin's Culture of corruption can be found in print in a grand total of 446 WorldCat libraries (audio or electronic format in 41).

When patrons do it, it's a challenge; when the authorities do it, it's a ban; when librarians do it, it's selection.

(When publishers do it, that's just business.)

SafeLibraries said...

You are exactly correct.

No books have been banned in the USA for about a half a century. See "National Hogwash Week."

As to your "we librarians" comment, get a load of what former ALA Councilor Jessamyn West said:

"It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don't talk about much — the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it's totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all."

Kevin, no, they do not track books they themselves "censor." However, I just challenged the ALA to track library crime. See "Banned Books Week Versus Library Crime; Call for the ALA to Track Library Crime."