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Librarians recommend a few banned books

Summit Daily/Kristin SkvorcLibrarian Tom Zebarth stands next to a banned book display at the Main Branch Library Wednesday in Frisco.
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SUMMIT COUNTY – The American Library Association’s Banned Books Week is coming to a close Saturday, but local librarians feel that the week’s message should continue to resonate.”People are still challenging books that other people would like to read and trying to keep them away from others who would like to read them, because of their bias,” Janet Good, Silverthorne’s North Branch Library manager, said of the week. “The Bible is a challenged book. It gets pretty racy in there in some places.”Another challenged book she recommends is “Fahrenheit 451″ by Ray Bradbury.”It’s about banning books, and it’s made banned books lists,” she said.

Julie Commons, manager of the South Branch Library in Breckenridge, believes banning books is a reduction of freedoms.”Freedom of expression should be important to all Americans,” Commons said. “We just don’t want censorship. “It’s a crippling, negative thing, and we just want to make sure that doesn’t happen in a country like ours.”Some of her favorite challenged or banned books are Robert Cormier’s “The Chocolate War,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.Tom Zebarth, librarian for the Main Branch Library in Frisco, said Banned Books Week serves to illustrate the challenges to the First Amendment that Americans face.

He thinks that Harry Potter, a banned and challenged series of books, is great.”I think it’s wonderful that kids are coming back to reading,” Zebarth said. “They may start with Harry Potter, but who knows where they’ll end up.”He said that librarians want to try to have books for everyone.”We all wish the library just had all our favorite books, but the library is supposed to be something for everybody – all tastes, all interests,” he said.



South Branch assistant librarian Patrick McWilliams points out that that can present a problem for libraries.”We should have everything that anyone might read, but we have to look at whether we’re dealing with information or disinformation,” he said.Banned Books Week 2006 is set for Sept. 23-30.Jennifer Harper can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at jharper@summitdaily.com.


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