From the Moline Public Library
Oh man. This is tailor-made for libraries. Well… it’s tailor-made for books anyway, which we are all about. And all we have to do to show our support is exactly what we always do!
Which is to say, provide people with access to tens of thousands of books and encourage and enable those same people to read those same books. It’s perfect!
What can you do to show your appreciation for the dominant means of storing, transporting and spreading knowledge and understanding on Earth for the last 1,700 years or so (before books it was all scrolls and wax and rocks)?
Take time out from planning your costume parties and hanging fake cobwebs and stop by the library. Check out that old favorite, or that new book you’ve been meaning to read, or, if all else fails, ask a librarian to suggest something for you (if you plan it ahead of time you can fill out a Library Concierge form and have a list of five personally tailored recommendations waiting for you). Welcome to October and happy reading.
It’s Banned Books Week!
What is Banned Books Week?
That’s an easy one. It’s an annual celebration of your right to read whatever you want.
And why is it important?
This answer is longer, but still pretty easy. I’ll keep it to three main points.
First off, in this country and at this time, it’s pointless. To begin shutting down or cutting out ideas, perspectives and lifestyles that a specific person, or group of people, doesn’t understand, identify with or approve of solves LITERALLY NOTHING. For anybody. Including those that are attempting to challenge or ban the material. Nothing makes a book shout, “Check out what I’m about!” louder than someone else shouting not to check out what it’s about. Plus, even if “they” hypothetically manage to ban a book from a library or school there are hundreds of other places that a determined reader can go to get it. Pointless.
Second, one persons obscene or unfit material is another persons broadened horizons. Reading about something does not make you automatically believe what you have read, but it does help you to be aware of and consider other perspectives. There is evidence that reading encourages and increases empathy. Empathy – generally listed as a positive human quality… by, like, everyone. The other big reason that a lot of books with violence or sex or bad language or “adult situations” and so on, are challenged, especially books for teens and younger readers, is to “protect the children!” But here’s the thing, when those topics are addressed in books for younger readers they are done so from the perspective of younger characters and talked about in a way that is accessible and appropriate to that age group, helping the reader come to terms with and learn about the fact that whatever it is exists in the real world. Ignoring it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and censoring it will just create kids who are blind-sided by it when they encounter it as they get older.
Third, no one likes to think about human rights and civil liberties in “use ’em or lose ’em” terms, but… It’s a potentially slippery slope – 1 banned book can become ten banned books, can become one hundred, can become state approved reading list only. It’s a little dramatic, I know, but it has happened, and, historically speaking, cultures (or, call a spade a spade, regimes) that make a habit out of banning books are often just around the corner from burning and destroying them (and occasionally their readers). Also, not typically super-happy places to live. I’m just saying.
So, there you are. Banning books – pointless, counter-productive and oppressive.
Support your right to read what you want – READ A BANNED BOOK TODAY!
If you need help finding one (there are lots) you can find lists here.
We’re closed today in honor of all the days we (and all the other businesses, factories offices, etc., of this great nation) are not closed.
We’re celebrating American labor by gathering together all of our non-working dependents and retired relatives and providing them with sustenance in the form of an enormous and bountiful barbecue. There could be a metaphor or message in that somewhere, but I’m off today so I will look for it tomorrow. Who wants a burger?
The library will resume normal business hours starting tomorrow at 9am.
Love books? Good.
Maybe we’re biased but we love people that love books. And today is your day!
Book Lovers Day is typically considered the day for people that love reading to celebrate their most cherished books, and that’s great, but let us not forget that it is called Book Lovers Day, not Book Day. So make sure to take a moment today to appreciate just how cool you are for loving books too.
And if you feel like showing that love by being surrounded by books, maybe even finding a few new ones that you didn’t even know you wanted to read, we’re open until 8pm. Feel free to stop by.
Normal service hours will resume July 5th. Have a happy and SAFE 4th of July!