Last Friday on NPR’s Tell Me More, host Michel Martin and guest Loriene Roy (former American Library Association president and currently a professor at the University of Texas at Austin) discussed whether banning books could actually encourage more readers. You can listen to the interview (about six minutes long) or read the transcript via the link in the previous sentence.
“People respond to certain themes that they find…personally objectionable. And when it impacts library services, it’s a question of access. And just because one person finds something objectionable, doesn’t mean they have the right to restrict access to that item that other people – other parents and other children – should have access to.” -Loriene Roy
“[Libraries] do acquire collections that respond to public interest…and it doesn’t mean everyone has to read that title, but you’re providing access to it.” -Loriene Roy
Bookseller Shoshana at the Brookline Booksmith also weighed in on Banned Books Week. “Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes ‘appropriate content,'” she wrote.
“I’ve talked with a lot of parents about what’s right and what’s not right for their kids to read….What I love about the customers in our kids’ section, though, is that the question is pretty much always what’s appropriate for the particular kid in question, not what should be published or be on our shelves.”
Finally, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has also coordinated several Google Hangouts with authors this week, including Sherman Alexie and Jay Asher. Anyone can drop in, so check them out.
Happy Banned Books week!