~ Thomas Jefferson
|The Boston Public Library's Bates Hall, 1896|
One of the sponsors of Banned Books Week, the American Library Association (ALA), has a calendar of events including a virtual read-out on YouTube. The ALA's site also includes lists and statistics about the most frequently challenged books and authors. One mind-boggling example: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World — published in 1932 — is one of the ten most frequently challenged books of 2010.
While the desire to censor may not change, circumstances do. Today's prospective book banners, book burners, political demagogues, religious fanatics and simple megalomaniacs will find that, thanks to digital communications, thoughts are harder than ever to control.
“All books can be indecent books, though recent books are bolder.
For filth, I'm glad to say, is in the mind of the beholder.
When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.
I could tell you things about Peter Pan,
And the Wizard of OZ, there's a dirty old man!”
~ Tom Lehrer
|New York Public Library reading room|