Celebrating Intellectual Freedom

Banned Books Week is today through Oct. 2, 2010. It’s a great time to read a banned or challenged book and remind everyone how important it is to our democracy to have intellectual freedom – the freedom to be able to choose and read books with diverse viewpoints and about varying topics of interest.

I went through a book challenge when I was a school librarian. Though a bit stressful at the time, I found it to be a great opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with a lot of different people – teachers, administrators, parents, and students.  In my case the book was not removed from the library, but the challenge allowed us to closely examine the issue of intellectual freedom and materials selection in our school library setting. It helped me to think more deeply about the concept of intellectual freedom and what it means in the lives of different people.

Have you had experience with a book challenge or with designing an intellectual freedom policy for your library? What was it like?

Andy Woodworth, a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, created this simple video that shows some of the books that have been banned or challenged through the years. Take a look and enjoy a good read.

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About Deb Hanson

Always a learner...an endless seeker... educator, librarian, biologist, dreamer, innovator, mom, wife... Located in SW Florida.
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