Banned Books Week, Day 3

Why are books challenged? Who initiates the challenges? Where? The infographic below (from the ALA) provides a breakdown of some data from 2017.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association,

What surprises me is that the bulk of challenges take place in public libraries, more than what occurs in classrooms and school libraries. But this explains why 42% of challenges are initiated by patrons — library patrons unhappy with specific books. I’m reminded of the women in The Music Man, shocked to find that “dirty” books by “Chaucer, Rabelais, BALZAC!” are in the River City library. “He left River City the library building/But he left all the books to her.”

Don’t let anyone tell you a librarian’s job is a quiet or easy one.

Today’s featured author is a playwright: Lillian Hellman, whose 1934 play, The Children’s Hour, was banned in some cities in the US and UK for hinting that homosexuality exists. Hellman argued, however, that “It’s not about lesbians. It’s about the power of a lie.” Artists of all stripes are still battling lies.

Tomorrow, how many each year?

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
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