Week 8: Topic 1

Banned Books!

This is a subject close to my heart, mainly because I am a grade school librarian, media assistant. Banned books are something that is often brought to my attention. I have been trained that no book should be banned and that everyone should have an opportunity to read a book, that it isn't my place to remove a book from the shelf. That being said I work in an elementary school and we do do a certain amount of selecting for grade appropriateness.  However I also have a section in my library where questionable books go and students must have written permission to check out books from that section. My main concern is that if a book draws questions the parents realize their student may be reading it and they might want to discuss that book with their student. 

  1. Do you see any books on the ALA list that you've read or know about? List some of them and what you thought of the book.

There are many books on the list that I have read and many more that I have heard about but have not read. Being that I am from Sweet Home and work for the school district here I am very aware of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. When I was in grade school I can remember the book in question was Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume.  Both of these books touch on subjects that parents don't necessarily want their children reading about, until at least the parent has been able to discuss the subject with the student. On a personal note I was very glad that I had read Are You There God? when I did because if I hadn't of I would have really freaked out when I started my period at 9 years old.  What parent thinks to talk to their child about that at that age?

2.What’s your take on limiting access to various books and other materials in public schools or local libraries? Do objections seem reasonable?

I don't think that a public library should be able to limit access however a school I feel is a little different. A school has an obligation to "protect" it's students and in protecting them I think that we are also somewhat responsible for protecting not only physically but mentally also. I think that at grade school age it should be up to the parents what their student is allowed to read. Most of the kids that come through my library for example know if their parents are alright with them reading Harry Potter for instance. I have had students say my mom says I can't read those and they don't.

3.Now think about the bookshelves at your home. List some of the books and authors that visitors would find on your bookshelves. What do those books and writers tell us about you and your interests/passions?

My bookshelves are full of cookbooks, old books from my grandparents, and lots of books for 4th grade and up that I read so I can tell my students about them or so I can decide if I think a parent might find something object able to it so I can put it in my permission only section. One of my favorite authors is James Patterson, both his young adult and his adult books. I fell in love with his books by reading some that I had in my library that I thought my students would like but they hadn't been picked up so I read them to see now when kids ask about a good book I usually point them in his direction or Rick Riordan, or Mull, or Haddix, or.... Needless to say I read a lot of young adult books.


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