Thursday, October 1, 2009

Topical Thursday- Banned Books week

Well according to the libraries and the booksellers it's Banned Books week. I took a look at a list of banned books to see if the university had them, but most of them were juvenile books and they were banned because they weren't considered "age appropriate" so that idea quickly fell apart. No point in checking to see if my local library has these books because I live in a small town with a one room library. If they don't have it, it's probably because they don't have room for it, or don't have a budget for it, not because it's been banned.

So what can I say on this subject? The topic reminds me of when I was a kid. In 5th grade my mother and step-father split up, and I had to change schools during April vacation. My maternal grandmother was a librarian at a local library and I had access to anything I felt like reading off the shelves or from the bookmobile. When my new 5th grade teacher found out that I was reading "Catcher in the Rye" she had a fit. She didn't think a book with that kind of language should be read by someone my age. What kind of language? It's been a long time since I read the book. I think it had the "N" word in it, or possibly the "F" word. Can't remember. I do remember my mom defending my reading choices and basically telling the teacher to stuff it. Thankfully I was only in that class for the remainder of the school year. Then in the summer we moved again, back to another small town, and I never had to deal with Mrs. S. again.

Another memory is going back to the big G town, where the children's section has it's own librarian and it's own wing basically. There is or was some rule about how you had to be a certain age, or in a certain grade to borrow books from the adult section. More hassles. In the small towns this wasn't the case. I was used to one room libraries and having access to whatever I wanted. I was pretty peeved at being told by the adult librarian that I needed a parent's permission to check out a certain book by Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary because it wasn't considered a children's book. It was one of the few I hadn't read yet. I did finally manage to read to book, but I can't remember how I did it.

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