Banned Books Week continues through Saturday across the country. At the Pella Public Library they are celebrating 30 years of liberating literature, encouraging the public to find out about banned books. Library Director Wendy Street says that books aren’t often banned in libraries anymore, its more common for them to be challenged. For example someone can challenge how a book is categorized, or what age group it is aimed at. Street says school libraries ban books more often, because they work with such a narrow age group.
Knoxville Library Director Roslin Thompson says that books are challenged for a variety of reasons, including language and content that some parents or groups think is too sexual for the age group it’s aimed at. She comments that libraries are a resource for information; though one person may not think a book is appropriate, others still deserve the freedom to choice what they want to read. She adds it may provide opportunities for honest discussions. Thompson says that’s difficult to shield children from all the information out there. Instead of trying to do so, she suggests parents might want to use the opportunity to read a questionable book with a child when they think he or she is ready. They could then have an honest discussion about the content with them.