Sunday marked the start of Banned Books Week 2017. This annual event, sponsored by the American Library Association and an array of other groups, is designed to increase awareness about attempts to restrict access to books (and, by extension, ideas) in America.
Last night after dinner my 18-year-old son grabbed his smartphone and announced that he was going outside to capture Jigglypuff.
I rolled my eyes. “Pokémon Go, right?”
As Paul went out the door I had to laugh internally because even though I really don’t understand how this new “augmented reality” app works (and don’t really care to), I remember something he does not: The great Religious Right Pokémon freak-out!
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America’s public libraries. The idea was to demonize public libraries in the same way that public schools have been successfully demonized by fundamentalists in some parts of the country.
The effort, dubbed “Family Friendly Libraries,” fell flat. Americans simply weren’t interested in allowing a bunch of far-right Christian fundamentalists to determine what books they or their children could read.
Yesterday marked the start of Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Booksellers Association and other groups.