Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

September 13, 2012

Durbin: Read a banned book

Greensburg — Throughout the country, most children have started a new academic year.

Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," and "To Kill a Mocking Bird," may not be included in the curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.

Since 1990, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.

It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Slaughterhouse Five," the "Harry Potter" series, the "Hunger Games" series, "Looking for Alaska" and "Water for Elephants" remain available.

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best Ñ their parents!

In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the ALA and the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library are sponsoring Banned Books Week Sunday, Sept. 30 to Saturday, Oct. 6. Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of our right to access books without censorship. This year's observance commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society Ñ the freedom to read freely Ñ and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted.

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view.

The Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library and thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country will celebrate the freedom to read by participating in special events, exhibits, and read-outs that showcase books that have been banned or threatened.

Stop by the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library now through October 6 and take a look at the Banned Books Week display. It highlights many of the books that have been challenged and/or banned over the years.

You'll find books like "The Adventure of Super Diaper Baby", challenged because it contains the phrase "poo poo head," and "The Kite Runner," challenged for the rape scene, sexual innuendo, and vulgar language.

Pick up a copy of "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl," challenged for sexual material and homosexual themes or "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" which was challenged for profanity, sex, and descriptions of violence. Read a challenged or banned book and enter the contest to win one of three Amazon gift cards. This contest is also available on the Bookmobile and at the Westport branch.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read at your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

Stop by the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library and celebrate your "fREADom."

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Five Decades of 'Progress “Political polarization,” “divided government” and “Washington gridlock” have been on the rise for the last 15 years. Public calls for compromise and de-emphasis on centralized government stand out in public opinion polls; yet, nothing changes, and t

    July 31, 2014

  • Governor Pence addresses President regarding unaccompanied children Dear President Obama,I am writing to express my profound concern about the federal government’s mishandling of the present crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s Southern border by the tens of thousands. The federal government has not

    July 31, 2014

  • Now why didn't I think of that? According to the dictionary definition, repurpose means “ to change or adapt something so it can be used for a purpose other than its original intent.” As one of the many who spend their free time “repurposing,” I like to think of it as bringing new

    July 31, 2014

  • Getting on with the program Now that the fair has been written in the history book, it’s time to get on to more Extension Homemaker News. But first, I would like to extend thanks to Eileen Fisse for the wonderful job she did for the Open Class exhibits. The building looked nice

    July 30, 2014

  • Pat Smith: An actor's life Chances are that Ben Tebbe would have been successful anyhow but it’s refreshing that he remembers who gave him a chance. No doubt, Karen (Clemenson) Hoak would have been proud of what he has accomplished since she gave him a part in a Tree County Pl

    July 30, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e

    July 29, 2014

  • Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th

    July 29, 2014

  • 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa

    July 29, 2014

  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.