Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Books Week: pornography or teachable moments?

I appreciate attention to Banned Books Week from our local media. Today's Post Crescent features the following story:

Appleton Public Library still faces challenges
It seems surreal now that the federal government tried in 1932 to stop U.S. publication of James Joyce's 'Ulysses.' ... [read the full article]
Reporter Susan Squires did a nice job with the story: we had a good conversation; she did her research, brought in the perspective of Family Friendly Libraries and even interviewed author Chris Crutcher. Thanks to the Gonzo YA Librarian for cluing me (and the Post Crescent) into Crutcher's passion on this issue.

Thanks also to two of our Library Trustees for helping me develop perspectives: Ron Dunlap for the importance of identifying "teachable moments" for parents and children, and Liz Truesdale Witek for how a video on a Brazil exemplifies this.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought Squires' article was good too, but for one little but powerful phrase: "so-called challenges." As someone who has had to do verbal battle against book challenges in support of Chris Crutcher, there can be no doubt in their authenticity and dangerous potential. So the "so-called" really was disturbing.

Kelly Halls
CC's Assistant

susan squires said...

Dear Ms. Hall: The phrase "so-called 'challenges'" was not intended as a pejorative, but to indicate that the word "challenge" in this context has a technical, bureaucratic meaning. Please note that I also put the word "challenges" in quotation marks. Another way of putting it would have been "'challenges,' as they are called ..."
Susan Squires