Banned Books Week
We read banned books! The Brooklyn Tech Library invites you to participate in Banned Books week, a national week of awareness about the rising number of books that have been challenged and/or removed from public and school libraries across the country.
Did you know that popular books such as The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky are on the banned books list? So are classics such as Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
In 2022 there was a 38% increase in book challenges at libraries.. The top reason given for why books were demanded to be removed from shelves? LGBTQIA+ content.
At Brooklyn Tech we believe in seeing our stories and the stories of others in the books we read.
Stop by the library to borrow a banned book or check one out on Sora at tinyurl.com/BTHSreadbannedbooks. Learn more at uniteagainstbookbans.org
PS. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean, discusses the impact of book banning (and, as is the focus of her book, book burning). These quotes were very moving and we wanted to share them:
"Because libraries are usually in the center of cities, they are often damaged when cities are attacked. Other times, though, libraries are specific targets. World War II destroyed more books and libraries than any event in human history. The Nazis alone destroyed an estimated hundred million books during their twelve years in power. Book burning was, as author George Orwell remarked, “the most characteristic [Nazi] activity.” … (P. 98)
The Feuersprüche was a pet project of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Party propaganda chief, who understood how fundamental books were to Jewish culture, theology, and identity. Burning Jewish books, in his opinion, was an ideal form of bloodless torture, demonstrating the limitless of German control. At Opera Square, the students formed a human chain, passed the books from hand to hand, and then cast them into a pile. Estimates of the number of books in the bonfire pile range from twenty-five thousand to ninety thousand. As each book was thrown in, a student announced the reason this particular book was being “sentenced to death.”...
The irony of the Feuersprüche was that they treated books as seriously as Jews did. To feel the need to destroy them acknowledged the potency and value of books, and recognized the steadfast Jewish attachment to them.
"In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn't understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual's consciousness is a collection of memories we've cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived. It is something that no one else can entirely share, one that burns down and disappears when we die." (not sure of the exact page, so sorry!)