When most folks think of the library, they think books. But the library is so much more. Sure, we also have movies and CDs and downloadable media like e-books and music. And we offer free Wi-Fi and loan iPads and Wi-Fi Hotspots. And we have an amazing lineup of programs for kids and adults (if I do say so myself). But the library is still so much more…
In addition to all of the physical items in our collection, the library’s greatest attribute is access. You see, inside all of those books and movies and internet sites are ideas. And ideas are a very powerful thing. Some ideas are so powerful and potentially life altering that people may be frightened of them and think they need to be restricted, or even completely removed from libraries.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of someone else making decisions about the kind of ideas I should have to be quite frightening. That’s where librarians come in. While you may think of us as cat-loving, shawl-knitting, bun-wearing nerds (okay, maybe there are some truths to those stereotypes), we are actually pretty militant defenders of ideas, of making sure that everyone has access to a wide range of information and ideas, even those that are less than popular.
Banned Books Week (September 23 – October 1) was instituted in 1982 to celebrate our freedom to read what we choose. The library supports those ideals throughout the year as we select diverse books and other materials to add to our collection. We are probably the only place in town where you will find a gay romance novel next to the latest book from Bill O’Reilly. Well, I mean not right next to…the Dewey Decimal system would never allow that!
In celebration of your freedom to read whatever you choose, I would like to invite you to the “Banned! Books in Drag: Comedy and Drag Show” event on Saturday, October 1 starting at 8 p.m. It’s sure to be a ton of fun as Minneapolis comedian Maggie Faris returns and is joined by local drag performers Khloe Wold, Jem Stone, Ophelia Junque, and Dominique DeGrant. Check out our website for more info!