Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Librarians as heroes

It's Banned Books Week, in case you didn't know. And as you might guess, the banned books are always the ones worth reading. Any book, and the ideas therein, which can scare the powers that be, is worth getting a look at. For Banned Books Week events in CT, look here.

Morning Edition had a nice piece on banned books, librarians and The Grapes of Wrath this morning.

It featured discussion of Rick Wartzman's new book, Obscene in the Extreme. The heroine of the story is librarian Gretchen Knief, who stood up to the book burners in Bakersfield CA, but was not able to prevent town leaders from banning the book, which eventually became an American classic.

It's important to remember that librarians have often been on the front lines in defense of freedom of expression in this country. Here in Connecticut, we must never forget that it was a group of librarians who stood up to the Bush administration, the FBI, the Patriot Act, Homeland Security in defense of the constitution when they stood up against a National Security Letter at the risk of their own careers and freedom.

Thank a librarian the next time you check a book out.

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