October 01, 2012

NPL Staff Read Banned Books

Come into the library this week and you'll see promotional material for Banned Books Week.  These posters feature library staff with frequently-challenged books that are part of our library's collection.

Alyx, NPL shelver, reads Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  Flowers for Algernon was one of the 100 most frequently challenged books of 1990-1999, primarily for it's sexual references.

Caitlin, in shelving and technical services, reads A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.  The ALA's quick summary of challenges to A Brave New World:
Banned in Ireland (1932). Removed from classrooms in Miller, MO (1980), because it makes promiscuous sex "look like fun." Challenged frequently throughout the U.S.as required reading.  Challenged as required reading at the Yukon, OK High School (1988) because of "the book's language and moral content." Challenged as required reading in the Corona-Norco, CA Unified School District (1993) because it is "centered around negative activity." Specifically, parents objected that the characters' sexual behavior directly opposed the health curriculum, which taught sexual abstinence until marriage. The book was retained, and teachers selected alternatives if students object to Huxley's novel. Removed from the Foley, AL High School Library (2000) pending review, because a parent complained that its characters showed contempt for religion, marriage, and family.  The parent complained to the school and to Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.  Challenged, but retained in the South Texas Independent School District in Mercedes, TX (2003).  Parents objected to the adult themes—sexuality, drugs, suicide—that appeared in the novel.  Huxley's book was part of the summer Science Academy curriculum.  The board voted to give parents more control over their children's choices by requiring principals to automatically offer an alternative to a challenged book.  Retained in the Coeur D’Alene, ID School District (2008) despite objections that the book has too many references to sex and drug use.
For more information on these challenges, links are here.  [see Blog Policy Information.]

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