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“Fundamental to life”: Library Workers, Advocates Share Predictions, Freedom to Read Experiences Ahead of National Library Week

“The right to make my own choice is fundamental to life, and intellectual freedom with the right to choose what to read is necessary to maintain what I believe is inherent to all of us,” says Salt Lake County librarian Wanda Mae Huffaker. In anticipation of National Library Week 2020 and the State of America’s Libraries report announcing the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, we share book challenge experiences, 2019 top challenged title predictions, and our passion for the freedom to read.

To Kill a Mockingbird cover art

Banned Book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is America’s ‘Best-Loved’ Novel

Part of the reason that the novel is so well loved, I think, is because it challenged so many of us to think about difficult issues. Whether we continue to teach Mockingbird or choose to move on to another, more modern book, one important lesson from Mockingbird will live on – we will continue to read, and love, our banned books.

Banned Books Week 2018, September 23-29

Why We Still Need Banned Books Week

However, I’d argue that one of the reasons our country doesn’t experience these dangerous laws is because of the perpetuation of the importance of intellectual freedom by hardworking librarians. I believe the reason we have access to and the freedom to read all books, even controversial ones, is, in part, because of awareness campaigns like Banned Books Week.

Amy Crump

10 Years After a Challenge – Amy Crump

How is a librarian’s career impacted when they experience a significant material challenge in their library? I decided to ask some librarians about their careers following a challenge. I contacted librarians who experienced a challenge in their library 10 or more years ago, and asked them some questions about their career paths. The following is an interview with Amy Crump, who experienced a challenge to books held in the Marshall (Mo.) Public Library.