BANNED BOOKS WEEK is September 26th - October 2nd. I have a lot of cool stuff to display for it. Last year it occurred to me that since I'm (unfortunately) in charge of lockers and combination locks, I might as well use some of the wayward locks in my displays, with an "Unlock Your Mind" theme. I went a little nuts with it this year, and used copies of pictures of locks, blown up big, to form all the letters. (The metal hook part was what I used for the letters.) And I used a picture of a brain on pink paper to dot the "i" in "mind." Isn't that adorable?
I was quite proud of this idea
The bulletin board also included the dates (at first I put the 6 upside-down, but don't look at that!), a nice quote from Ben Franklin, and a bitchin' "Censorship causes blindness: READ!" poster.
|The main bulletin board|
|Banned Books Week SIMPLIFIED|
I made this Banned Books Week comic strip when I was working at a junior high school with "less intellectual" students who needed a LOT more explaining before they began to grasp the concepts involved. It was frequently painful (for us), but we just kept on trying, because it's important.
In case you can't read the dialogue, it goes like this:
BOY: I don' get it-- Are we banning books?! Is that a good thing?!
GIRL: No! Banned Books Week is about exercising our FREEDOM to read.
GIRL (continued): It's about CELEBRATING all the wonderful books that some people are trying to keep us from reading, just because they don't like the IDEAS expressed in them.
GIRL (won't shut up about it!): Libraries believe in protecting INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM!
BOOK: I'm just a lil' book with some BIG IDEAS! Don't ban me just 'cause you don't agree with me!
GIRL: Save the books!
BOY: Read an "endangered" book today!
|"Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself"|
In the circular glass display cabinet we displayed books from an American Library Association list of the most frequently challenged and/or banned books. I scattered some opened padlocks on the shelves, and there are two signs on the back side, explaining the display.
The first sign reads, "Some people are trying to keep you from reading these books... These books have been challenged and/or banned from school and public libraries across the nation."
And the second one says, "Celebrate your freedom to read!"
The cabinet is unlocked, and I encourage students to check out any books they find interesting.
|The Library Key!|
This is a close-up of my favorite part of the display, the "Library Key" which I made from clip-art and blue and chartreuse paper. Isn't it fancy?! It's symbolism, get it? Because the LIBRARY is the KEY which unlocks your MIND. Duuuude...
I have one more (very wordy) hand-made poster about BBW, which I direct students to if I don't have time to explain it myself, or if I'm too frazzled and tongue-tied to be coherent about it. I put it on red, white, and blue paper to make sure kids get the message that there's nothing un-American about intellectual freedom. Here's the text of it, which I got mostly from the American Library Association, and paraphrased:
FREE PEOPLE READ FREELY!
Banned Books Week emphasizes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A "CHALLENGE" AND A "BANNING?"
A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove materials from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.
The positive message of Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.