Free Speech Matters: Anti-Censorship Video from Leading Contemporary Authors

From Penguin via GalleyCat: Stick around for the final commentary from author Heather Brewer about how a librarian changed her life.


I highly question the Brewer story.

Take a look at how she tells the story on her blog:

She mentions the book had been banned for years at her school library but the librarian had a whole box of copies sitting freshly pulled. Sound fishy?

Also notice how the story changed. In her blog post there is no mention of the librarian pushing the box towards her. Her blog post is about "How she stole a book" but in the video the librarian is clearly offering her to take a book. If the librarian story was true I don't think she would have written the blog post the way she did.

Just the way she tells the story in the video gave me the feeling that something wasn't quite right. Does she sound convincing to you when you hear her tell the story?

Here is what she says in the video: (4:30 in video)

When I was a freshman in high school I went to the library one day and my librarian was sticking books inside a box and I asked her "What are you doing with those books?"

She said, "These books have been banned and they can no longer be on library shelves so she took books from the shelf put them inside the box and then she looked at me very pointedly and she pushed the box towards me and then she turned around. She was telling me to take one of those books and I did. I reached into the box and pulled out a copy of "Catcher in the Rye" and I ran out of the library.

Here is what she wrote on her blog:

I first heard of The Catcher and the Rye when I was fifteen. So, curiosity leading the way, I stopped into my highschool library to check a copy out. The librarian informed me that the book had been banned at our school. She said it had been banned for years, then was unbanned for a few years, until a parent complained about its content. In fact, there was a box of newly banned books sitting on the librarian’s desk, which, she informed me, were on their way to the trash.

Sounds like two different stories to me. One she is going to the library to get "Catcher in the Rye". In the second story she just stops by the library. At a minimum I think she fluffed up the video story to make it sound better. She is a writer. If she had a good story to tell you don't think she would write it up on her blog with the good details?

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