We Really Don’t Ban Books in the States

Sherry of Semicolon has a good post on Banned Books Week, which echoes my thoughts on the subject. She starts with some facts on what’s banned in other countries and then states that we don’t ban books in America.

I attended library school and heard librarians say, with a straight face, that when they chose to not purchase Nancy Drew books or comic books, the process was called “selection,” but when parents or citizens tried to voice their opinions about what should or should not be purchased by the libraries that they support with their taxes, it was “censorship.” Librarians were an elite group of educated professionals who knew how to “select ” library materials; others were yokels who were out to keep information out of the hands of the people, book-banners. . . . The only difference is that the librarians are assumed to have good motives, to provide as many materials as possible to the lbrary’s patrons, and the public citizens are assumed to have bad motives, to keep materials out of the hands of others.

3 thoughts on “We Really Don’t Ban Books in the States”

  1. Amen. I’m sick of this “banned books” nonsense. Anybody who’d lived in a country with real censorship would deaccession this stupid observance and sell it as a Used Week, for a quarter, on a shelf by the library door.

  2. Since this hits on one of my pet peeves I can’t resist commenting. Libraries here in canada are completely run by the secular Left wing; despite policies that mandate an expression of all public views. (Yeah right.) The books on the shelves are all humanist, if not anti-christian.

    I don’t see anybody protesting what goes on. (And here I have to admit my own guilt.) The selection we get is 100 percent PC; books as if chosen by H. Clinton. As an example; we get endless books on homosexuality; that the computer system shows no one takes out. (I suppose some of the librarians buy the ones they want for 25 cents when they’re inevitably dumped.)

    This all goes back to Horace Mann and his ‘policy of exclusion.’ He advocated a method of dominating public discourse by excluding certain topics from discussion in the ‘public’ schools. (The same tactic was later adopted by the libraries.)

  3. This is a very interesting quote. Librarians are quick to defend their choices-after all is is a “public” library I hear them say. Booksellers, who trumpet these banned book lists often do it as a marketing effort-come and read the banned books the thought police don’t want you reading. Some of the others understand that parents are filters-these are probably the sellers that wouldn’t want these books either, but they’re too timid to speak up and incur the vitriol from their fellows.

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