Malala Yousafzai

“How Dare They Take Away My Right To Education?” Happy birthday, Malala Yousafzai!

On July 12, the world celebrates the birthday of Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist, author, and speaker, Malala Yousafzai. While perhaps most widely known for being shot in the head by a member of the Taliban on the way home from school and surviving, Malala was an outspoken advocate of girls’ rights and education before that. Make plans for the children and young adults in your libraries and classrooms to discover her work and message.

Carmen-Francesca Banciu

‘Books saved my life and my sanity’: An Interview with Banned Author Carmen-Francesca Banciu

Carmen-Francesca Banciu is an author, journalist and lecturer who grew up in Romania as the daughter of a high-ranking member of the Communist party. She studied in Bucharest, going on to win the International Short Story Prize in Arnsberg, Germany in 1985, leading to a ban on her works in Romania.

Mein Kampf Cover

Hitler and Censorship: Is there Value in ‘Mein Kampf’?

I think the recent headlines regarding a lack of knowledge about the Holocaust just serve to reinforce how important it is to continue to allow access to and discussion of Mein Kampf. Only by remembering what happened and by studying Hitler’s mindset and psychology can we understand – as much as is possible – what happened and thereby try to prevent it from happening again. And any consideration of banning Mein Kampf should also consider the fact that book banning (and burning) was an early part of Hitler’s reign, too.  

Dish of Rice

A Short Guide on How Not to Be Tracked Online By Your Government

Pro tip number one: Pick a word any word – except maybe the hash tag #MeToo. The Me Too Movement, founded by a Black American woman named Tarana Burke to encourage empathy and empowerment for sexual assault survivors, became ubiquitous online and off-line in 2017.  In China, women have been using the coded phrase “rice bunny” (米兔), pronounced as “mi tu” to get around would-be censors who would shut down conversations online about sexual harassment. 

Created by Lisa Hooper reads "My father had spent every penny on his books. They were his life. After the bonfire, I could tell that something had happened to his mind." From Knuth, Libricide: The Regime Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the 20th Century.

Librarians as Cultural Warriors & Protectors

Likewise, it says a great deal about the importance of librarians, library paraprofessionals, museum curators, archivists, educators, and anyone else involved in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage and protection of intellectual freedom. Knuth’s book demonstrates that librarians can be active participants in protecting cultural history, or they can be twisted to add legitimacy to the regime’s propaganda.