Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Banned Books Week: hype or not?

With Banned Books Week 2011 over, that's it for censorship and book challenges, right? No. If anything, it's the time for us to think more deeply about the act of challenging information and excluding materials.

This is why Armacost Library decided to extend the conversation wall question till this Friday, October 15. And to ask the question we did--is Banned Books Week hype or not? 

Early in September 2011, columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote an opinion piece that stated that various reasons why he thinks Banned Books Week is hype. What's more, he politicizes the concern over book challenges, censorship and intellectual freedom as something championed by "the American left" and is therefore "propaganda." Goldberg does bring up some significant points, such as the differences between challenging books for age appropriateness and outright banning books from schools and libraries.

A response from Elaine Magliaro, school teacher and librarian, came not too long after. Then, Jonah Goldberg's rebuttal after that.

As we march on to October, and celebrate Information Literacy Awareness month, Armacost Library invites the University of Redlands community to continue to think, write and speak about the issues raised by Banned Books Week--limitations placed on access to information and our collective intellectual and academic freedoms.

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