Thursday, September 25, 2014

Banned Books Week continues: Time to start thinking about 2015, I guess

Well, I'm feeling a little let down by my local public library, although I'm usually pretty proud of them. 

The folks working downstairs didn't know if there was a Banned Books Week display but thought it might be upstairs. The people upstairs didn't know where it was but thought it might be downstairs. And none of them knew where the "I Read Banned Books" buttons were. Thinking back on the whole thing, I'm not one hundred percent certain that everyone I spoke to knew that it was Banned Books Week.

Which is odd. It's a little like asking around at the local Catholic church and discovering that not everyone realized it was Easter week. At a public library, the week celebrating the freedom to read should be the high holy days.

Given that this year's theme is graphic novels and comics, it occurred to me that I might find something in the Young Adults section. Sure enough, this sort of forlorn thing was tucked a corner. 

(Note that there don't appear to be any graphic novels on display, so I fear the choice of locations might have had less to do with targeting likely readers than with finding available space where it wouldn't block traffic by being, you know, noticeable.) You can see a little blue bowl on the third shelf down, next to the small book-sized sign announcing Banned Books Week; the bowl had four buttons in it. I took two because I know I'll find someone to wear them and otherwise they might still be in that bowl at the end of the week.

The library did have two large and prominently located displays: one for National Recovery Month and one featuring Scottish fiction and nonfiction, the latter presumably tied into the independence referendum there (which happened last week). Both are worthy topics, but you'd think a public library would be front and center on an event sponsored by the American Library Association, celebrating the freedom to read.

Disappointed, Beaverton City Library.

It's to late for anything to be changed this week, of course. I guess I'll need to start nudging them myself well in advance for next year. Maybe they can use an overeducated volunteer to help get things going.

Meanwhile, how is the library in your neighborhood celebrating Banned Books Week?

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