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Banned Books Week for Children and Youth Librarians

USF SLIS alumna Sally Shabouk has an article, “Observing Banned Books Week Prompts Discussion of First Amendment Rights Among New Jersey Youth,” in the December 2009 Social Responsibilities Round Table Newsletter.

Sally writes about observing banned books week for children and youth librarians using her own display in the Children’s Room of Glen Ridge Library in NJ where she serves as the Youth Services Librarian.

“In the week prior to the 2009 Banned Books Week, the Children’s Room of Glen Ridge Library in NJ was ready to receive visiting 3rd grade classes from across the borough. Visible upon entering, 188 3rd grade students, parents, and many more Children’s Room patrons saw a large cage holding challenged or banned titles—e.g. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, Superfudge by Judy Blume, etc. Yellow caution tape surrounding the cage along with signs proclaiming “Banned Books Week” and “Danger: Banned Books” were easy to see. Next to the cage were folders explaining the challenge process, why some books are challenged, and how some challenges end with a book banned and removed from library shelves.”

Congratulations, Sally! We hope your example inspires other children and youth librarians to find creative ways to educate patrons about intellectual freedom.

“I hope my story encourages other children and youth librarians to make displays during Banned Books Week. Kids love learning and asking questions about new and different ideas, and this is a wonderful opportunity to get their minds thinking about rights vs. privileges, what libraries really are to them, and what their own responsibilities are.”

-DD

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