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Celebrate freedom to read during Banned Books Week

Of the many freedoms Americans enjoy every day, perhaps one of the most taken for granted is the freedom to read. We hope you will join us the week of Sept. 26 as we observe Banned Books Week, an annual nationwide event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.

We will have a display highlighting the benefits of open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the U.S. The display will include titles from the American Library Association’s bibliography with books challenged, restricted, removed or banned in 2009. Examples include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich, “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving, and other titles.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases, that did not happen — thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers and community leaders to retain the books in library collections.

It’s also interesting to look back at other books banned at various times in America — especially because many of these books are considered classics today. They include “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque, “A Farewell To Arms” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Ernest Hemingway, “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinway, “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak,“Ulysses” by James Joyce, “Jaws” by Peter Benchley, “The Autobiography of Bejamin Franklin” written by the Founding Father himself, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

A poem of love

The following poem, called “It’s Library Time,” was written by contemporary children’s author Jack Prelutsky. It sends us a very appropriate message during Banned Books Week:

“It’s library time, and I read to myself/A book about knights that I found on the shelf. I start to imagine the more that I read/That I’m a knight on a powerful steed. I conquer a dragon to show I am brave/Then vanquish a troll in its dingy, dark cave. I ride through the land doing deed after deed/For we have a library where I can read.”

Request for Legos

We’re looking for donations of used Legos and Duplos for the library so that we can start a Lego Club because there is so much interest in Legos among our community’s youth. Youth services librarian Kristine MacNeill is your contact if you can help.

Large print mysteries

“The Last Lie” by Stephen White explores the aftermath of a housewarming party that ends in quiet disaster. “The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree” by Susan Wittig Albert is the latest in the mystery series featuring the garden club ladies of Darling, Alabama. “Betrayers” by Bill Pronzini looks at investigations by the detectives at the agency that involve betrayal. “Crossfire” by Dick and Felix Francis is the latest in the mysteries relating to horse racing in England. “Spider Bones” by Kathy Reichs is the newest mystery featuring forensic scientist Temperance Brennan. “Lost Empire” by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood explores the mystery of a relic belonging to a long-lost Confederate ship. “Exclusive” by Fern Michaels is Book 2 in the Godmothers mystery series.

Inspirational memoir

“The Beauty of Love” by Yankees player Jorge Posada and his wife Laura is a memoir detailing the miracles, hope and healing they faced when their first-born son was diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a birth defect that causes an abnormally shaped skull.

A new look at China

“The Coming China Wars” by Peter Navarro is a updated and expanded version of the author’s earlier bestseller on the threats now posed by the dramatic rise of China as an economic and military superpower.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful to Gil and Lenore Bright for their generous donation in memory of Ruth Schutz, and to Emma Shock for her generous donation in memory of Ethel Poma. For books and materials this week, we thank Scottie Gibson, Addi Greer, Kathleen Isberg, Roxanne Maki, Cynthia Montanez, Kathleen Pohly, Karla Robinson, Alan Saltstein, Jarrell Tyson, Robert Wallace and Caroline Walton.

Quotable quote

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” — Contemporary novelist Robert Heinlein.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.