This week I am Celebrating Banned Books by showing you the display at my final local library in Frisco TX. This library rocks and I am lucky enough to live in a neighboring town that allows me to check out books from them. I can’t use their online offerings so I can’t say for sure how stellar they are BUT if they are half as good as the on premise library then they rock!
More on the library itself a little later but first I would like to talk about banned books.
Sheila from A Book Journey is doing a Banned Books Week event that you must check out! This post is part of that event but I also thought how cool would it be to tie it in with the library event! They fit together like birds of a feather!
CONFESSION: Growing up in a small town in West Texas you would have thought that there were all kinds of things that we “weren’t allowed to read” (since TX is the state with the highest number of banned books). However that couldn’t be further from the truth. My school library was packed full of books that are “consistently” banned in schools: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Of Mice and Men, Flowers in the Attic, The Scarlett Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and many more. In fact, it wasn’t until well into adulthood that I realized that a)people actually went out of their way to get books banned and b)that it was something that schools all over the US did. I am thrilled I grew up where I did because I can’t imagine my childhood without those eye-opening books!
CONFESSION 2: I am not a parent so I can’t begin to fathom what the motivation behind banning books might be from that perspective. I think that you should be aware of what your children are reading and make educated decisions as a family. However, as a child whose only rule when picking up a book was “Ask questions about what you don’t understand” or “Look it up in the encyclopedia (I’m old we did it that way back then)”–I feel I had a great learning relationship with my parents, teachers, and immediate adults that I wouldn’t have had if I was not given free access to books that stretched my horizons. I wasn’t afraid to follow those rules and ask questions. I wasn’t afraid to read something big, scary, controversial, or above my age range. Books taught me about the world outside my little space in it. They taught me the good, bad, and ugly of human beings. What they didn’t do was cause me to be something I’m not but they did cause me to question things and learn from them.
Banning books to an avid book reader (no matter what the age) is like taking away a key to the outside world. I would rather someone read a book that I whole-heartily disagree with and form their own opinions about it than take away their chance at growth through reading, understanding, and contemplating that book. Teaching someone to think, decipher, and process information through reading is a fundamental life lesson that I’m afraid by banning books we take away from our Youth today.
HAPPY NOTE: Libraries are the place to go for those (with parents permission) allowed to read books banned at their schools. In fact, many libraries will bring awareness to banned books so that the parents and younger readers can decide which books would be suitable for them as a family to read, discuss, and learn from.
The Frisco TX Public Library has an awesome display of banned books on the Adult Floor (4th floor in the Library)! The librarians are ready and willing to answer any questions that you may have about the books on display or other books that might be deemed “banned” or “unsuitable”. Do not be afraid to talk to your librarian if you have questions. Some books may not be appropriate for your child or teenager for any number of reasons and asking why something was banned will give you a better understanding on what subjects that book is touching on. It might be one that you want to read first or at least prepare for the questions after, which could range from sex to race relations. Librarians are there for you and they really are the gurus of the book world!
Go check out your local library this week and see how they are celebrating banned books. I am sure they have something awesome going on!
A little bit more about the Frisco Public Library:
6101 Frisco Square Blvd.
Frisco, TX 75034
Support the Library
- Book Nook Used Books
- Donate Items
They have an awesome Calendar of Events
They have blogs:
- What We’re Reading
- Parents Place
They have 3 floors packed with awesome books! The children have a whole floor to themselves. The teens have their own room that has everything a teen reader (and even non-reader) would love. The adult section has a heavily stocked fiction and nonfiction area that even has a quiet space for working. It is one of my favorite places to escape too when I need some alone time!
I love the Frisco Library! It is a great place to visit if you are ever in town!
This giveaway is open to the US/CA (and part of the #LoveMyLibraryCard event) but since it is relevant to the Banned Books event I wanted to give y’all a chance to enter without having to search it out 🙂 Good Luck!