Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2014

At the Library

By LeAnn Kunz, Washington Public Library | Sep 23, 2013

Over the years and across the nation books have been challenged or banned from public libraries, schools, and other community organizations. Books are usually challenged or banned for containing what some would consider offensive language or actions, inappropriate sexual content, unpopular ideas, questionable morals, etc.

Every year the American Library Association recognizes Banned Books Week (Sept. 22-28) and publishes a list of the top 10 books that have been challenged or banned over the past year. With the publication of this list, ALA encourages public libraries to celebrate our First Amendment right of the freedom of speech by emphasizing the availability of these books in public libraries.

The Washington Public Library personally has a mission statement that reads: “The Washington Free Public Library believes in the freedom to read and learn, and the freedom to compare and express ideas. WFPL strives to provide educational, cultural and social enrichment for all residents of the city of Washington and surrounding areas.”

Because of this continuing mission, we, too, are celebrating our intellectual freedom to read whatever we want with a Banned Classics Read-Out on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The library has eight to 10 volunteers who will present short readings from books that have been challenged or banned over the years in different communities. Surprisingly, these books are often the ones that have shaped America, influenced our lives, and "have had a profound effect on American life." Participants will explain why the book they have chosen was challenged or banned and then share a short reading from it.

We encourage the public to come listen. Everyone is invited to come share in the celebration of our freedom to read with the Washington Public Library!

The following new materials are available.

Gifts & Memorials

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks & Smithsonian Knowledge Encyclopedia given in memory of David R. McDaniel, A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson & The Longest Ride (large print) by Nicholas Sparks given in memory Elwood Kleese

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown & The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter given in memory of Myrl Leavitt

Adult Fiction

Something Borrowed, Someone Dead by M. C. Beaton, Deadline by Sandra Brown, Deadly Heat by Richard Castle, Someone by Alice McDermott, Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan, Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes, Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon, What Was Once Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Large Print Fiction

Deadline by Sandra Brown

Young Adult Fiction

Smoke by Ellen Hopkins, Fallout by Todd Strasser

Juvenile Fiction

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson, The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech, Amber Brown is on the Move by Paula Danziger, QB1 by Mike Lupica, The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance

Easy Children's

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker, Jazzy in the Jungle by Lucy Cousins, Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak, Scaredycrow by Christopher Hernandez, Bitty Baby and Me by Kirby Lawson, Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre, Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin, Hello, My Name is Ruby by Philip C. Stead

Adult Nonfiction

Black Inventors by Keith C. Holmes, Building Great Sentences by Brooks Landon, Inconvenient Stories by Jeffrey Wolin, African Art from the Menil Collection, Christmas With Southern Living 2013

Comments (1)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Sep 28, 2013 21:43

by Bill O'Reilly

While writing my latest book, "Killing Jesus," I knew I would catch hell once it hit the marketplace. Your mom was right when she told you never to discuss politics and religion, because emotions run so high in those arenas. Especially religion.

Even before "Killing Jesus" was released, the mail began pouring in. And some of it was very nasty.

Brent in Texas opined: "O'Reilly, you are not someone who has the right to write a book about Jesus."

Eric in South Carolina: "You are helping to deceive people with your ignorance about Jesus."

Al in Louisiana: "Bill, what do you know about Jesus? You are Catholic, and they don't know anything about the Bible."

And Raleigh in California really let loose with some disturbing stuff: "Bill, please repent before it is too late. You seem to be angry at God because he put a black man in the White House."

Of course, none of these folks had actually read "Killing Jesus," because it had not been released. The book is pure history; there is no religion in it. The people lashing out at me for daring to address their savior in any capacity are so intense in their beliefs that they have lost all sight of reality.

Now, a sad fact of life in America is that there are some very unstable folks running around, and they have always been with us. But from my perch as a national TV commentator, I can tell you with certainty that the level of fanaticism is rising not only here, but all over the world.

The reason is the Internet. In the past, kooks were kind of isolated. But now they can find other loons in cyberspace with whom to commiserate. That encourages bizarre behavior, as disturbed people think their outlook is acceptable because others are saying the same thing on their machines.

The chief al-Qaida recruiting tool is the Internet. Neo-Nazis campaign heavily in cyberspace. NAMBLA, the child rape club, has a worldwide presence on the 'Net.

There is little anyone can do with fanatics. Reasoning with them is a fool's errand. Avoiding them is mandatory. These people are dangerous. They spread poison and could not care less who they hurt. Thus, the Internet has become a hate-filled town square with no limits put on destructive verbal behavior.

And millions of children have access to all the vitriol.

Freedom has always had a downside. With technology allowing for instant communication, hate groups, perverts and killers now have many more opportunities to cause harm than ever before. Again, there's little anyone can do about it.

But everyone should be aware of it.



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