It’s Banned Books Week, and so on today’s show, we’re looking at some of the unquestioned assumptions that tend to go hand-in-hand with the idea of banned books. A lot of people assume that book challengers are just a bunch of ignorant prudes, or that banning books really isn’t a problem–it’s just a marketing ploy trumped up by the American Library Association. However, after talking to Emily J. Knox, a professor of information science and an expert on censorship and information ethics, we realized this issue is a lot more complicated than it looks on the surface. Let us know what you think of today’s show. Did we help shift the way you think about banning books? Have you ever challenged or defended a library book? Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at email@example.com. Be sure to include your first name and where you’re from. Or, if you’re shy about recording your voice, send us an email with your thoughts and we’ll read it.
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- Emily J. Knox
- Audio clip of Kurt Vonnegut speaking in 1989 at the Chautauqua Institution provided by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
- List of the most challenged books in recent years
- Ruth Graham, “Banned Books Week is a Crock
- Freedom to Read Week
- I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings and Shelagh McNicholas
- The American Library Association Code of Ethics
- Laura Ingalls Wilder controversy
Thanks to Evelyn Brosius for our logo. Featured image from Heinz Bunse, CC BY-SA 2.0
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