Opinion: There is a time to ban books from school libraries

"Banned books are a sign of an oppressive regime. That said, forcing age-inappropriate reading materials on youngsters not ready to deal with the material -- and doing so just for the sake of a bigger principle -- is just as oppressive..." Read more at Yahoo News

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Forced? . . . but, . . . how?

How do you force someone to read? And kindly note that this is not merely a rhetorical question. I am seriously interested in having this question answered, as such an act would be an utterly unconscienable violation of human rights and civil liberties; just as much as it is to prevent people from reading.

Quite frankly, I see the propagandist meme about "forcing children to read" as hysterical, nonsensical claptrap which is typical of the censorial. Children will choose what to read for themselves based on their own literacy skill level and what is important to them during any particular period of their development. A child at the level of reading Dr. Seuss or Berenstain Bears picture books is not going to suddenly start reading Catcher in the Rye. And if such a child were "forced" to read it, CITR would make absolutely no sense to that child, because he or she would have no frames of reference by which to interpret or gestalt the issues Holden Caulfield had to deal with.

Oh, and one more thing. Kindly define what, exactly, constitutes a "child". Adolsecents are not children; I would say that two-thirds of that period, at least, should be classed as young-adulthood.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

A Clockwork Orange

Fang-Face said, "How do you force someone to read? And kindly note that this is not merely a rhetorical question. I am seriously interested in having this question answered, as such an act would be an utterly unconscienable violation of human rights and civil liberties; just as much as it is to prevent people from reading."

I am not certain at all, but isn't there a scene in A Clockwork Orange where someone is forced to read?

My school libraries never

My school libraries never 'forced' books on me, nor did they have the power to assign reading.

Thanks, Bearkat, This Is What I Have Been Saying

Thanks, Bearkat. This article you linked is basically what I have been saying and for which I have been getting a lot of heat.

"Can't we trust the ALA to look out for the kids? The short answer is a resounding 'no.'"

Exactly what I have been saying.

The ALA's BBW creator Judith Krug herself said:

"On rare occasion, we have situations where a piece of material is not what it appears to be on the surface and the material is totally inappropriate for a school library. In that case, yes, it is appropriate to remove materials. If it doesn't fit your material selection policy, get it out of there."

"Marking 25 Years of Banned Books Week," by Judith Krug, Curriculum Review, 46:1, Sep. 2006.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Forcing?

"forcing age-inappropriate reading materials on youngsters not ready to deal with the material -- and doing so just for the sake of a bigger principle -- is just as oppressive"

Show me the public library that forces youngsters to read certain books, and we can have a discussion. Otherwise, I call sheepdip. (Like bullshit, but suitable for the easily offended.)

Not Talking About Public Libraries

It should be noted that the article is not discussing public libraries, but school libraries. Admittedly, the author didn't make clear whether the particular book she was referencing was assigned reading or just available, but in that setting I could agree with some tighter definitions of age-appropriateness, which is all she's really calling for.

Oops, sorry, but my point still stands

I missed the "school" part (hey, I'm a Californian, the whole concept of school libraries seems like an image from some wealthy foreign shores). Still...unless it's assigned reading, it's not "forced." When you poison your own case in the first paragraph, you can't expect people to take the rest of the case seriously.

your point

Perhaps when you can't get the facts correct before making a comment, you can't expect people to take your comments seriously. This can go for named or anonymous comments alike. You talk of not having quality discourse from all the anonymous comments, but the anonymous commenters, in this case anyway, at least read the story and got all the pertinent facts correct before making their comments.

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