The best thing about libraries is that you can walk in and find great books to read - and you don't have to buy them. If the book you want isn't at our library, you can probably get it through interlibrary loan.
But there are some times when people want to push certain books off the shelves. They are "too graphic" or the main character is homosexual and they don't want their children - or anybody else - to be "exposed to" that book. Even now, in the 21st Century, people and groups challenge books in an effort to get them removed from their children's classroom, a school library, a school system, a town library.
Some of our greatest literature has been banned. Back in 1885, when the Concord Public Library banned Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain told his editor, "This will sell us another twenty-five thousand copies for sure."
More recently, Harry Potter showed up on the list of the challenged and banned. And last year, Captain Underpants topped the list. You will find these - along with other great books that have been challenged and banned - in our library. Why? Because, as Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. said back in 1989, "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."
Some people celebrate "Banned Book Week" by reading a banned book. Here are a few titles to get you started. The entire list of 100 books is at http://www.ala.org/bbooks/top-100-bannedchallenged-books-2000-2009
Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Of Mice and Men, by John SteinbeckI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Forever, by Judy Blume
Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Giver, by Lois Lowry