Celebrate Banned Books Week!

Hollywood Librarian

One again, it’s time for Banned Books Week, it runs from September 29th through October 6th. This year, the opening of a film entitled, “The Hollywood Librarian” coincides with Banned Books Week. The film is a documentary about popular perceptions of contemporary librarians, and utilizes Hollywood’s portrayals of librarians on screen as a focal point. “The Hollywood Librarian” provides food for thought regarding popular stereotypes about librarianship, juxtaposed with real-life librarians today.

The film also makes critical points about the importance of defending intellectual freedom, and fighting censorship, two things librarians do very well as the gatekeepers of knowledge. Needless to say, these issues are becoming increasingly important in today’s political climate. I encourage everyone to see The Hollywood Librarian, and to read a banned book or three. Here are some of my favorites:

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
  • Go Ask Alice – Anonymous
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • Private Parts – Howard Stern
  • The Rights of Man – Thomas Paine
  • Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

~ by Woeful on September 26, 2007.

9 Responses to “Celebrate Banned Books Week!”

  1. Is there an easy way to see a complete list of banned books? (maybe I should stop being lazy and look for one myself!) I’m pleased to see that I’ve read many of the ones you’ve listed. They were required books for school, actually! Is 1984 banned? Or Farenheit 451 (or whatever number)?

  2. Hi Deb! There is no comprehensive list available, but if you scroll down on the, Banned Books Week page I linked to you’ll definitely get a good idea. Also try this webesite, it also includes why and who challenged many books as well.

  3. Didn’t Parker Posey change the way librarians are viewed sort of… forever?

  4. She did for a few Max, but many people were, and still are in disbelief that a librarian or “library worker” could be anything like the one she portrayed in Party Girl. We still have a long way to go…

  5. I’ve posted a long piece on my top 10 favorite banned books and link to several lists at libdrone.blogspot.com

  6. You guys are certainly the “gatekeepers of knowledge.” Next time I actually get my lazy butt to my local branch, I’m going to say, “Hello, my gatekeeper of knowledge.” Maybe they keep a blog and they’ll write about the weirdo girl who said that lol

  7. Can’t wait to take a look, Alan!

    In a lot of ways librarians really are the gatekeepers of knowledge, SG. It sounds corny, but it’s true. We keep the information flowing freely.

  8. Wasn’t that a line in Ghostbusters?

    Hey, what would you do if someone walked in, wild eyed, and asked you, “Are you the gatekeeper?”

    Besides writing about it, that is lol

  9. LMAO!! Every situation is a beautiful and unique snowflake.

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