Every year, the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read with Banned Books Week, an initiative launched in the 1980s during a time of increased challenges to books in libraries and schools.
“Books are still being banned and challenged today,” the ALA website notes. “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.
“While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.”
The librarians of Myrin encourage everyone to keep the symbolic light on, turn off your iPhones, and read a book. We encourage you to search our library resources as an alternative to the commercially-driven algorithms of the major search engines and social media platforms.
And we especially encourage you to read something completely outside of your own experiences, books that challenge you to see the world through another’s eyes – even if they make you unsettled, or uncomfortable. As Angela Duckworth recently wrote in a Philadelphia Inquirer article called “How Reading a Good Book Can Make You A Better Person”, “…perhaps uniquely so, we’re capable of mentally untethering ourselves from our own narrative and imagining what it is like to walk a path entirely different than our own.”