Friday, August 5, 2011

Vonnegut library offers banned book to Missouri students

In the article "Vonnegut library offers banned book to Missouri students," Susan Guyett explains that
Up to 150 students at a Missouri high school that ordered "Slaughterhouse-Five" pulled from its library shelves can get a free copy of the novel, courtesy of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, library officials said on Thursday.
This decision comes in response the Scroggins controversy (see post immediately below) that has had academics up in arms for the past year ever since he claimed that books such as Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Slaughterhouse-Five are pornographic and contrary to Biblical teaching (I guess he's assuming these books are being taught in Sunday school instead of public schools?)  The following comment espouses many of my views on the subject and is much more articulate that I am most of the time:
"All of these students will be eligible to vote and some may be protecting our country through military service in the next year or two," Julia Whitehead, the executive director of the Vonnegut library in Indianapolis, said in a statement. 
"It is shocking and unfortunate that those young adults and citizens would not be considered mature enough to handle the important topics raised by Kurt Vonnegut, a decorated war veteran. Everyone can learn something from his book."

The offer of a free book to any Republic high school student who requests one is a way for the fledgling 7-month-old library, located in Vonnegut's hometown, to show support, she said.
I think this move is pure brilliance and I sincerely hope that students take the library up on the offer for the free text.  If only more libraries could afford to do this when books are challenged in nearby school districts.  In a way, this reminds me of when The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was banned and local bookstores were suddenly inundated with orders for the book.  I hope the library has the same "problem," if students requesting important texts can actually be considered a problem.

What do you think of this move by the Vonnegut Library?  Do you think other libraries should do this in other areas if feasible?

As always, thanks for listening!  (Oh, and please tell friends about this blog!)

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I wish I had read Vonnegut as a teen, though I'm glad that I finally got around to it as an adult too!