I just wanted to draw a little more attention to the response letter I linked to in my previous post. It's from July of 2008, but still very relevant. After giving it a thorough read, I think it's important to give the letter its due, as it neutrally addresses several key points about this week's purpose. The library director from Douglas County, CO really did a fantastic job putting together his argument. It reads logically and professionally. I am also very grateful he addressed every issue the parent brought up. It shows he really does care about his work, and the concerns of his library's patrons.
These two passages especially resonated with me; I think they sort of reiterate what I was trying to say in my previous post:
"How then, can we claim that the founders would support the restriction of access to a book that really is just about an idea, to be accepted or rejected as you choose? What harm has this book done to anyone? Your seven year old told you, 'Boys are not supposed to marry.' In other words, you have taught her your values, and those values have taken hold. That's what parents are supposed to do, and clearly, exposure to this book, or several, doesn't just overthrow that parental influence. It does, of course, provide evidence that not everybody agrees with each other; but that's true, isn't it?...
"Finally, then, I conclude that 'Uncle Bobby's Wedding' is a children's book, appropriately categorized and shelved in our children's picture book area. I fully appreciate that you, and some of your friends, strongly disagree with its viewpoint. But if the library is doing its job, there are lots of books in our collection that people won't agree with; there are certainly many that I object to. Library collections don't imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life."
Happy Banned Books Week, everyone!