This year’s display! I’ve fallen in love with removable labels from DEMCO. The top is the adult display; each book has a label with a bright red slash/circle (what are those things called?) with some of the reasons the book was challenged or banned. This is the question we get asked the most—particularly when someone finds a classic or a beloved book. I got all of that information from the ALA website and the 2007 Banned Books Week Sourcebook. The close-up is LOTR which was burned with many other books for being “satanic”.
This year I kept the YA display separate, to encourage people to browse the books with the intent to check them out (which I think is easier when they’re browsing their reading level). For the teen books I went for a more provocative “Are you brave enough to read a banned book?” and a modification of the message from last year.
So, are you brave enough to read a banned book?
THIS is so amazing.
That’s inspiring and all that, but I feel like I should mention that Goosebumps got banned, so make of that what you will.
Pointing out that things like Goosebumps have been banned, or highlighting the fact that Judy Blume is on of the most challenged authors of the 21st century (ALA), does a much better job of making the point that banning books is dumb, than does this display, as cool as it is. These are books that might make some readers feel a little smart and dangerous (and sexy) for reading them- hence, “are you brave enough?”- but the the real point about book banning is that it’s troglodytic and, well, pointless.
But I don’t think that the primary point of this- a display targeted specifically at teen readers- is to open a long political discussion about book banning. (What constitutes banning, what is the difference between a ban and a challenge, who makes challenges and why, not all bans are created equal, etc., etc.)
I think it’s to make people read the book.