Sunday, September 27, 2009

Banned Books Weeks

It's the time of year that the American Library Association brings attention to banned books. One problem: it ain't happening. Not in the strictest sense of the word:
In the common-law tradition, censorship refers specifically to the government's prior restraint on publication. None of the sponsors claim this has happened; the acts they have in mind are perpetrated by private citizens. Yet the cases on the map almost all involve ordinary people lodging complaints with school and library authorities. Before Banned Books Week began in 1982, such behavior was known as petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

Sure, the ALA has plenty of anecdotes how classic literature has taken from the shelves of school libraries but usually those books are placed right back. Or moved to a different shelf. Which, as I recall, the ALA is opposed to as well.

In this day of the Internet, there is nothing, aside from child-pornography, that isn't readily available to anyone who wants it. The ALA has been dining out on this meme for a long time - they began this Banned Book week in 1982. Maybe it's time they get caught up with the rest of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment