Banned Books Week, Sept. 26 – Oct. 2, is a reminder of the unifying power of stories. This year, YCL’s celebration of Banned Books Week looks very different than what we have done in past years. We are not doing the typical book displays. We are not wrapping banned books in brown paper or handing out lists of banned books. Instead, we want you to know that we are here, year-round, to help you and all community members have access to the books and resources you need, banned and otherwise. Why? Because books can reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. They help us grow and learn.
We think ALA (American Library Association) President Patty Wong captures it perfectly:
Having the freedom to read, especially books that extend beyond our own experiences, expands our world and the ability to celebrate our differences. Sharing stories that are important to us means sharing a part of ourselves which fosters understanding and inclusion.
At York County Libraries, we offer a diverse collection of books and materials to serve the many interests and viewpoints of the York County community. Yes, some are banned. Many are not. When library members request books that we do not own, we help obtain them through the statewide Interlibrary loan program.
Throughout the year, we strive to highlight the various parts of our collection that can bridge reader understanding. This month, in conjunction with National Library Card Sign-up Month, we are highlighting books from the #1000BlackGirlsBooks list. We have been sharing picture books that help young children understand what happened on 9/11. And we are featuring YCL materials which celebrate Hispanic Heritage through the Beanstack Challenge. Stories have the power to connect us.