Monday, 23 August 2010

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - attributed to Voltaire.

Banned Book Week 2010

I've been working on a big project for work just recently. The last week in September is the ALA's Banned Book Week and this year Norfolk Libraries are taking part.

The library where I work is planning a discussion evening and to prepare I am reading lots of books that have been banned as well as lots of reference books about censorship.

It is a really interesting project to work on and my eyes have been opened to a lot of things - including just how much censorship has taken place in this country in the not too distant past.

I don't know if I am too liberal but so far while I haven't liked some of the books we've read there is nothing I'd want to ban or restrict. Just because I don't like something, or find something uncomfortable to read it doesn't mean that I don't think anyone else should read it, it just means that it wasn't my cup of tea.

I'm not even sure where I stand on books like The Satanic Verses. OK I don't think that people should go out of their way to insult other races/creeds/religions etc but at the same time if you know you are going to be offended you don't have to read it and for most views it is possible to find another book proposing the other side of the story...

This whole project is stirring up a lot of thoughts and emotions in me, and one of the things that it has really done is to make me want to study seriously again.

If anyone is interested the discussion evening is going to be on Tuesday 5th October at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library. We will spend a little time talking about the ALA, Banned Books Week, Censorship in the UK and Norfolk and how we buy books for the Norfolk Library Service and then we shall move on to discussing ten books that have been banned or challenged around the world.

The ten books are:

Alice in Wonderland
James and the Giant Peach
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Tropic of Cancer
Fahrenheit 451
To Kill a Mockingbird
Not Without My Daughter
Nineteen Minutes
The Da Vinci Code

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