One week every year we celebrate our freedom to read by bringing awareness to books that were banned and challenged all over the world. This year it falls on September 21-27, 2014. Banned Books is one of those hot topics that everyone has an opinion on. To censor or not to censor?
Well, I thought I should finally weigh in on this. My apologies in advance, I know everyone has their opinions and I respect them..so take no offence to any of this.
I DO NOT BELIEVE IN CENSORSHIP. I do not believe in limiting anyone or everyone’s access to information. I value their curiosity and willingness to read and I would hate to hold them back in any way. However, I do not believe in forcing my beliefs on anyone else. That is a big no-no for me. I believe what I do because of how I was raised and the journey I took to get to where I am today. I respect that not everyone will feel the same way as I do. I will not try to change your mind.
Every parent has the right to decide what their child can or cannot read. Your job as a parent is to guide your children in the path that you feel is right for them and for your family. Deciding that a book is too mature for your child or showcases the opposite values that you hold dear to you is reason enough to place that book on a shelf that they can never access. All is fair in that. Challenging these books in places that are providing access to the public is where I have an issue. Just because someone may feel that a book is wrong for their children does not give them reason to request that the book become banned for everyone else. Unless they want everyone to dictate how they should parent their children then they may want to stop trying to dictate what everyone can and cannot read. Holding a rally to get a book banned in a public library, or a school library, or anywhere that isn’t your own personal library is completely wrong. If you worry about your children accessing the books outside of your home then monitor them more closely and explain to them why you do not want them reading said books (hopefully they will understand and respect) but don’t ruin it for everyone else just in case your child decides to pick the book(s) up. I am sorry if that sounds rude. I really don’t mean to be but I can’t think of any other way to word this..
Libraries are there to serve the public. They offer a wide-range of materials to accommodate the ever diverse world we live in. You may find books on the shelves that you disagree with but someone else may want access to. Taking that away from them is taking away their freedom to choose and read the books that appeal to them. Don’t be that person. No one likes that person.
I can go on about this forever but I feel like this post is long enough. There is plenty here to get my point across. Once again, take no offence to any of this. This is just my opinion…
p.s. If you are going to ban a book at least read it first. Everyone interprets things differently. Some people get offended easily. A book that caused serious problems for one person may not be a big deal for you. Judge for yourself. Be informed. Respect will come to decisions made with valid reasons. Like the old saying parents sing to their picky children: don’t hate it until you try it.