When I was reading about the NCAC “Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders” awards in School Library Journal, I got to wondering this question:
Why don’t they have awards for people who have successfully gotten books removed from libraries?
If a person petitions the library to remove a book out of a legitimate concern for the well being of the children or the community or whatever, why not give out awards for it? If people feel that the removal of a library material is for the best interests of another, why not celebrate it? I mean, if they are doing a good deed, a moral act, a step towards the bettering of their neighbors and families, then why not acknowledge it? There are plenty of recognitions for people who work to improve the lives of others. Take a little pride in the accomplishment!
You might think I’m joking, but I assure you that I am dead serious. If you are someone who believes in their heart that they are doing the right thing by asking for a library to remove a book, that what you are doing is important, that removing this book is the best action for the community as a whole, why not stand proudly and take credit for this success? If anything, you’ve earned it considering the usual ruckus that can be associated with a book challenge. Speak with the same surety and conviction in your voice when you declare, “Yes, I am responsible for the removal of a book at the library because it was unsuitable for [insert your rationale here]!” It really doesn’t matter what other people think if you are being true to yourself, to your beliefs, and to the action that was taken. Isn’t that what is most important in the end?
I realize some people might have a problem with this idea, but my question still remains: why not give out awards for book challenges? And if there was book challenge awards, what should they be called?