Banned and Challenged Books Challenge Begins

Celebrate your freedom to read by reading a banned or challenged book in September.   Register at the library or at http://tinyurl.com/MinotLibrary, select a book to read, log your reading and submit a review of the book for a small participation prize and a chance to win a larger prize in a drawing. 

There will be a separate program for picture book readers.

For more information, call the Minot AFB Library at 723-3344.

Extra Information

Banned Book: a book that has been removed from a school or library based on the objections of a person or group

Challenged Book: a book that someone has attempted to have removed from a school or library – sometimes the challenge results in access to the book being restricted, sometimes the book is banned, and sometimes the book is retained.

Why are books challenged?: Books usually are challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language.  However, Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA’s basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.

Why do libraries have objectionable books?: One person’s objectionable book is the book that saves another person’s life. Libraries are for everyone, so they need to have books for everyone, books that offer multiple viewpoints and ideas. Libraries have to have books that represent and appeal to everyone in their communities. We have LGBTQUIA+ people and people of color in our community, so we have to have books that appeal to them, that depict positive narratives about them, and that deal with topics of interest to them. Libraries also have to stay politically neutral by having books that appeal to both sides of the political divide. The only way for libraries to be neutral is by having books for everyone as, again, removing all the books that anyone objects to would result in pretty empty shelves and would not be serving our community.

What happens if someone challenges a book at the Minot AFB Library?: Air Force libraries are mandated by AFI to use the American Library Association’s process for reconsideration of materials, so the challenger will have to fill out a form and hand it in. The library will put together a diverse committee, obtain multiple copies of the book so that each committee member can read it in its entirety, and then the committee will discuss whether or not the book meets the library’s selection criteria. If it does, the book will go back on the shelf. If it does not, the book will be removed. Sometimes, if the book was mis-cataloged by mistake, it might be moved from one collection to another (like from children’s to young adult), but putting all the books someone has objected to in a particular area where they can be kept away from children is not in keeping with the American Library Association’s policies.

For more information, visit https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned-books-qa

Date and Time

September 1, 2022 at

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