ALA’s Banned Books Week is the one week in the year when we seek out books that we think other people shouldn’t read and think of ways to prevent them from reading those books.
Because one should always think of the children, it’s best to begin with books that other people’s children should not be reading. An excellent place to start is school libraries. See: SpeakLoudly and Wesley Scroggins.
Don’t forget to take things within a book out of context and highlight the “bad parts.” You don’t have to read the book yourself. There are websites that warn people what to look out for in books. If parents are being warned, why should the book be in any library? Act as if we all share the same common sense view of books, so of course everyone who has common sense and decency will agree to get rid of the filthy books. Just flip through the book looking for the words you don’t like. Ignore anything and everything that disagrees with you, whether it’s personal stories from people who actually read the book or professional reviews or blogs, or, well, anyone. People who agree with you are right, people who disagree are wrong.
Knowing what’s best for other people also extends to other adults and public libraries. See: Revolutionary Voices.
In putting up roadblocks to other people finding the books they need and want to read, be sure to always fall back on the following “but I’m not a book banner!” arguments:
It’s Still In The Public Library! Always a good argument when seeking the removal from schools. Even better if at the same time you are getting the book removed from school libraries, you are working at getting it removed from public libraries. See Revolutionary Voices.
It’s Still In The Bookstore! A perfect argument because hey, we’re not stopping you from BUYING the books! Go to the bookstore and buy it. What, your local bookstore doesn’t carry all books in and out of print? Go online and buy it. What, you cannot afford to buy every book you want to read? Not my problem. Get a job.
Banned Books Week is about NOT banning books?
End sarcasm font.
Seriously speaking, being involved and being aware is important. Don’t think, this type of thing only happens in such and such a state. It happens locally. Speak up — let your libraries know how much you appreciate your library having a well-rounded collection with books for your entire community.