Today, a quiz. In 2019, the New York Public Library added a Banned Books Quiz to its website, and it’s still available two years later. Only 7 questions, so any trivia fiend can probably finish it in under a minute. You can access it here.
Speaking of public libraries, I made a quick, very unscientific survey of state public libraries in the US, looking for any content on this year’s Banned Books Week. Of the five states I checked, I found two.
In August, the Oklahoma Library Association (affiliate of ALA) announced a Banned Books Week 2021 photo contest here. The first photo was tweeted (@oklibs) earlier this week. I love those caution tapes around the stacks of books, and I want to thank the librarians of the state I grew up in for doing their part this year.
The Delaware Division of Libraries has a full page of links, images and videos here. Some of what they include you’ve already seen in my earlier posts, but scroll down to find the Library Bill of Rights, originally created in 1939 and then updated regularly since then. Well worth reading, and it won’t take long. And play the Jason Reynold’s video, less than 3 minutes long. One comment: “The things that are actually different about us should be celebrated, because they are what makes this tapestry of life.”
There must be other state library systems or associations that are participating. If yours is, feel free to add a link in the comment section.
Next up, my last ALA infographic, which suggests that book challenges are exactly like any other crime, in that a high number of them are unreported.
And, as usual, I end by highlighting a banned book. This one appeared the NYPL quiz I mentioned at the beginning, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (2000). If you’ve never read this terrific graphic autobiography, find a copy and immerse yourself in a funny, frustrating, frightening story of modern-day religious repression. When you finish, take the next logical step and pick up Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003). If you care about reading (and you must, because you’re still with me), you’ll love this book.
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. — Ray Bradbury