The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

September 23, 2013

Ban a book, see lots of action

Why it matters: Choosing reading materials is a First Amendment right worth fighting for.

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A college librarian who was disappointed about the unenthusiastic response to banned book week activities last year decided to adopt his staff’s recommendation to ban a book. (During one of the sparsely attended banned book events, a local author had jokingly volunteered his new book for banning.) The experiment was a success. As soon as you tell someone they can’t have access to something, they, of course, want access.

The librarian and his staff got people’s attention and students voiced their protest over the ban in multiple ways (and the author probably sold more books than ever). But more importantly, they delivered the message that any book at any time could be under attack.

Access to thoughts, ideas and other people’s words is a right that should be fought for. Locally, libraries are publicizing Banned Book Week and at the 410 Project , at 523 S. Front St., the gallery will exhibit work inspired by and reacting to banned books through Oct. 6.

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Editorials