Right to Read Day
The American freedom to read what we want is as basic as the freedom to speak and to worship how we want. In fact, those freedoms are all protected by the same amendment of the US Constitution. But a small and very vocal group wants to control what books other people are allowed to read. At CALS, we truly believe in the Right to Read. And today, on Right to Read Day, we hope you’ll join us in our work to protect that freedom for everyone in our community!
A good place to start is by looking at how the library chooses the books and other materials we put on the shelf. Every library has a set of rules they follow when picking what goes in the collection. Specially trained librarians use these rules to make sure the library has a well-rounded collection full of materials that people want and will find useful and interesting. Find out all about how librarians at CALS make those decisions by reading our Selection of Materials Policy.
Sometimes a person will let us know about a book they believe shouldn’t be on library shelves. We treat those concerns seriously and believe it’s important to take a second look when a library user has a complaint about a book they’ve found. That’s why we have a policy called Reconsideration of Library Materials. It’s a procedure for checking to make sure that the book in question really does belong in the library, and you can read about it here. We want the people we serve to know that we appreciate their help in making sure the library stays true to its mission, and that this is one way for them to do that.
If you believe in the Right to Read, think about checking out a book that has been challenged at libraries across the country. Form your own opinion, and let us know what you think. Like LeVar Burton used to say on Reading Rainbow, you don’t have to take our word for it! See for yourself. For a list of frequently challenged books, visit the American Library Association.
Finally, on Right to Read Day and every day, it’s important to speak up! When someone says to you that they support censorship and taking books out of the library, tell them you stand with public libraries because you know There’s More To the Story.