Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week and so I happened upon this little video that Bill Moyers made to honour this…
I agree with Bill. I wonder how many of us would be as whole as we are without books in our lives. Right now I am in a place where I can afford to buy some books. It’s wonderful!
But I still need the library. I grew up in libraries. I grew up feasting on books.
Now libraries open doors in other ways than books. We borrow DVDs, music CDs, audio books (wonderful for long trips!) and let me not forget TOYS! Whoot! When my children were small I borrowed toys regularly as well as books to read to them. All of us would be poorer without libraries and the bounty they lend to us.
But libraries do more than lend out magic. They host story telling times, events, workshops and clubs.
I’ve gone to those story tellings.
I’ve studied writing with Welwyn Wilton Katz.
I’ve volunteered in literacy programs.
Which leads me to my point (and I do have one)…the Library belongs to all of us. And we need to let our municipal politicians know that we — not some board or council — are the owners. They are just human beings; they will make mistakes.
Locally that would be the error of closing our only library (aside from a few specialty libraries devoted to small interest groups) on Mondays. What wrong headed thinking!
In our little corner of the world the library and the art gallery (the Tom Thompson) are attached which I feel is an excellent idea, a great match, a marriage made in heaven. They are both necessary as places where people learn to think, to imagine, to create, to expand their horizons, to grow. All necessary traits in a good citizen.
So, it would follow, if you follow my thread, that both of these edifices should fling their doors open EVERY day of the week…even if you must train more volunteers to do the “grunt” work (and here I believe Unions need to get on board). If citizens want this enough, they will step up and make it happen. Libraries are a human right … if you want creative thinkers, critical thinkers, thinkers period.
Are you with me?
Oh and while you’re at it…read a banned book! There’s a million of them. Here’s some I’ve read WITH my children…
And one of the all time best banned books… In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
They are some of the best reading in town … with the greatest ideas!