Do you use the classic display to highlight Banned Books Week?
The nice thing about Banned Books Week (September 25 – October 1, this year) is that it provides an opportunity for an eye-catching display on a topic of importance that can lead to meaningful conversations with patrons.
This year the theme is of particular interest to youth librarians. It’s “Diversity” – certainly on our minds and in our conversations and posts. The Freedom to Read Foundation reports that nine of the ten most challenged titles in 2015 were by diverse authors. It won’t surprise you, I suspect, to learn that I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel (see below!) and Jazz Jennings is on the list.
So perhaps you’ll put together a book display featuring books that have been challenged over the years, and look forward to questions from patrons like, “That was challenged? But I love that book! Why was it challenged?”
Maybe you want to try something new. How about:
- Check out display ideas from the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. Want more? Take a gander at their Pinterest page.
- Will you hold an event? Post it on their site to promote it and let the world know.
- Maybe your thing is social media and you’ll retweet the #VirtualReadOut video of the day, or even make your own. Click for details on how to participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read Out.
- Or join the Thunderclap that will reach over a million people (as of today) encouraging everyone to “Stand up for your right to read!” It will blast out at 8 AM CDT on September 26 on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. (And you don’t even have to be awake to be part of it!)
- Want to be better informed? Two FREE webinars are available for you: OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll’s recent Fifty Shades of Banned Book Week is archived and available at your convenience. In 50 minutes you’ll get 50 tips, ideas and resources. Or you can just get the presentation slides.
- On Thursday, September 29 at 10 AM CDT is Battling Bannings: Authors discuss intellectual freedom and the freedom to read. One of the featured authors is Jessica Herthel. Register even if you’re not available for the live webinar and you’ll get a link to the recording.
- And if you’re a school librarian but didn’t catch it, read Helen Adam’s recent KnowledgeQuest blog post Step 1: Celebrate Banned Books Week.
Just be sure you stand up and do something!
Laura Jenkins is Co-Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee.