May 16, 2007

Beware, danger ahead!

If your library is not unsafe, it probably isn't doing its job.
John Berry, III

I finally read The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron. What a joy to read. A story of a little girl trying to find some sort stability, some love to hold her up. Who doesn't relate to that? However, I bring her up to come back to the discussion of censorship. Due to the word scrotum the book has been banned from many school libraries as inappropriate for the reading level.

Now we won't go back to the complete absurdity of banning a great read because of an anatomically correct word, oh no, I won't revisit the absolute insanity of not buying an AWARD WINNING book to put on the shelves because of a WORD (which my seven year old didn't even notice, but if he had I'm sure he would have become a sexual deviant because of hearing this word, which would lead him to drugs, homelessness, and let's face it possible homicide).

I bring this up to tell you of the how librarians are the worst culprits. I am trying to start that library in my sweet little alternative school, yet who keeps telling the English teacher that it wouldn't be a good idea because the books might not be appropriate...another librarian in the district...what? You're going to tell kids who have slept in the street, endured abuse of all kinds, and seen things we only see on the Lifetime channel that a book with questionable language is bad? Ahhhh, engagement of reading? Importance of life-long reading? Who needs it?

This is comparable to the way new books are "approved" in the district. So, after all the extensive obtaining, processing, and cataloging of the new books (usually donated or begged for) they are sent to the Board for approval. So then the School Board reads reviews and/or reads the books themselves right? Ah, no they look at the cover...the title...that's it, maybe read the cover if the title is Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, board says oh no, that could possible be bad for our innocent babies, it talks of thongs for god-sake, imagine the chaos as girls go crazy running amuck in the school halls.

Can you hear my teeth grinding? The Title? should I mention that this too is an award winning book, beloved by many teenage girls, hilarious, and is continued as a series. Yeah, let's ban that book. So guess what, we put it on hold at the public library, and put it in the hands of as many readers as possible.

So that's right, we librarians are sneaky, we keep lots of sneaky stuff in our tightly wound updos, too.

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