Banned books dodge debate | The alpine sun

More than 1,500 books were targeted for censorship in 2021, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, more than the association has seen since it first tracked the statistics in 1957.

The majority of these complaints come from parents and community leaders who want children’s books dealing with sex, race or sexuality removed from school curricula and libraries. This begs the question: how can children who are not allowed to discuss race, sex or gender become adults who speak out against workplace discrimination, or advocate for equal pay, or recognize that “Adolphe le Loup” is the cousin of “Le Loup”. The cat in the hat?”

National Banned Book Week runs from Sept. 18-24, but the San Diego County Library system, with branches planted from Potrero to La Mesa, has nothing on the calendar to even suggest a week-long celebration. .

The San Diego Library System is similarly quiet on the subject, though it has held events related to Banned Book Week in 2021. It’s possible they haven’t planned anything during this year of transition.

As much as possible: censorship resistance is presented with a library-like whisper. Housing “Dear America” ​​under the same roof as “Survival in Auschwitz” opens up a conversation about nationalism and humanity that relies on guttural history and current events instead of lofty talking points. The personal story of anyone who is kept, shunned, or sidelined is starker than any plot conjured up and has the power to start a conversation that could change public policy. Putting these profanity-laden stories alongside those with more innocent language is a form of inclusion, but also quietly responds to requests for censorship with resounding silence. There might not be a long list of events in honor of Banned Books Week, but the books themselves are on the shelves in print and e-book formats.

Why give power to bullies?

Instead, Alpine Library Friends Association president Deborah Verfaillie said the little-used bookstore nestled next to the county library in the relatively conservative neighborhood will carry banned books from September 18-24. The County Library System included “The Magic Fish” among One Book of the Year, One San Diego Choice, a graphic novel that is all about gender, self-identity, and the desperate love of nature. family – the same novel found in Santee, Pine Valley and Lemon Grove was chosen to “bring the community together” without ever mentioning forbidden books.

The Chula Vista Library’s RUTH exhibit is a multimedia gathering of local stories from Holocaust survivors that bypasses any debate about whether “The Diary of Anne Frank” is appropriate reading. The books themselves are there in place of any question of their value, quietly standing sentinel over history and reason, cleverly planted so residents can decide for themselves what to read.

In the meantime, the libraries continue with a very varied program for everyone.

  • The Alpine Library will recycle old paperbacks into hedgehogs on September 10 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. All ages are welcome for this intergenerational craft session.
  • A tech stop for adults is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on September 15 at Alpine, where library staff can help users download free magazines and books through the Libby app.
  • Certified Master Graphologist Paula Sassi will reveal the secrets of handwriting to help determine if a writer tends to lie, cheat or steal. Participants can learn how to solve cases using handwriting analysis on September 22 from 6-7 p.m. at the Alpine Library.
  • On September 27, Alpine Fire Marshal Jason McBroom will present a fire preparedness briefing from 6-7 p.m.
  • Alpine’s Kingdom Quilters welcomes club newbies from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on September 17 and the Mystery Book Club will meet on September 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Backcountry residents are invited to learn the basics of using a Google ChromeBook, personal computer or portable devices from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 8 at the branch library in Campo Moreno. A limited number of ChromeBooks and Wi-Fi devices with internet access are available at checkout.
  • Teens are invited to drop by the Descanso library after school for the Teen Makerspace. Teens can create a different STEAM project each week or just hang out with friends from 3-5 p.m. every day.
  • The Pine Valley Library offers a children’s craft session every Thursday from 4-5 p.m.
  • For adults, the Pine Valley Library is hosting bingo night from 5-6 p.m. on September 27.

Visit for more information on these and other San Diego County Library events happening in September.

You can email [email protected] us with comments and suggestions.

Banned books dodge debate

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