Saturday, September 28, 2013

fREADom to Read in the Junior High

In recognition of national Banned Books Week, fabulous junior high teacher Sydney Cleland organized and MCed a great community time program on Friday morning.   With an introduction on the recent history of challenged and banned books (ALA has a great timeline called "30 Years of Liberating Literature"), we talked about the difference between a book 'challenge' and a book actually being 'banned' (Banned Books just sounds so much better, but it's not nearly as common as the number of annual challenges), how librarians and libraries have a professional responsibility to protect their patrons' First Amendment right to free speech, and how 'even at Paideia!" we have a policy and a procedure to follow in case somebody challenges a book one of our libraries (yes, Virginia, it happens even at Paideia).

The stars of the show, though, were members of the junior high debate team (coached by Greg and Uri).  Pairs of debaters argued for and against book banning in general, and then for and against specific, often-challenged books, including the Harry Potter series, To Kill a Mockingbird and Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. 

You can't see it very well in the photo, but the caption is


At the end of the program, I handed out bookmarks.

Want to read a banned book??  There are so many to choose from  in the Paideia Library.  Be a rebel -- read a banned book! 

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