Friday, August 21, 2009

How many people have to be offended before we ban a book?

As I read another headline about a banned book, I wondered just when do we accept that a book should be banned? If the material offends 1 person, 10, or over 1,000,000? Seems to me that we either believe in the freedom of information - even when we are personally offended, or we don't. The current headline was about Brooklyn's Chief Librarian banning Tin Tin Au Congo - a book that is racially offensive to some (most?). Whether anyone finds it offensive or not is irrelevant. Do we ban materials? I would guess almost every item in a library's collection would offend someone - somewhere. We can't scream against banned books - and then ban the ones we find personally offensive - that is censorship.

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