One of the more difficult tasks library staff is asked to perform is purging library shelves of materials that are deemed offensive. This request in our library is validated along with a phrase similar to the one that follows:
“The beauty of living in America is that we all enjoy the freedom to read–or not read–what we want. The Constitution guarantees this right. If we took out every book in our library that might offend someone, we would have no materials left in our collection.”
Truth. Everything from the Bible to Zombies would be gone from our shelves.
We all have different experiences, morals, values, beliefs, and desires. Despite that, we all share the same Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. This means we have the right to say and feel and do within our own belief system. It also means we do not have the right to censor other’s words and expressions just because they do not align with ours.
If you would like to show your support for First Amendment rights, stop by the library and get your mug shot taken. Share your “Caught Reading Banned Books” pic on your favorite media site and don’t forget to tag us #BannedAtMeinders.
For more information about banned or challenged books, please look up this great article on intellectual freedom.
keep reading~ jody
p.s. our beautiful banned books props are courtesy of Meredith Vaselaar–longtime librarian and tremendous supporter of us at Meinders Library.