Meet CEC’s New Librarian Chris Coble

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Welcome to CEC’s Library for the year 2013 and 2014.  My name is Chris Coble and I took over the position of librarian after Sudi Stodola took a job with Educational Technology.  The hours of the library are from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I am here until 3:00 and another staff member will keep the library open until 4:00.

During the month of September we recognize Banned Book Week.  Stop by the library and assert your first amendment rights to read, think and write without fear of retribution.  Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

A Brief History of Stupid Book Bans, from Twelfth Night toWhere’s Waldo?

As Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man gets banned in one school district, it’s important to reflect on what other great books have been banned and why

By Alexander Aciman Sept. 23, 2013

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man has just been banned in school libraries in one North Carolina county. The 1952 novel about a man who seems to have fallen into a racial oblivion in America has remained firmly on countless school reading lists and many lists of best books, including TIME’s own Top 100. So it may seem surprising that the book was banned, and not for inappropriate content — as books often are — but rather for lack of literary merit, according to one Randolph County school board member.

This book wasn’t simply removed from reading lists, either. It was explicitly banned by a 5-2 vote, which took place after a 12-page complaint was placed by a parent who thought the story was inappropriate for her 11th grade child.

Here’s a look at other notable books that have been banned In the last two decades.

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank. In 2010, a Virginia School District decided to use a censored version of Anne Frank’s Diarybecause one parent felt it was sexual, and even homosexual. You know who also didn’t like homosexuals? The Nazis.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. Strangely enough, this adorable book about a bear was banned only briefly in 2010 because a school board, clearly incapable of using the internet, thought that the author, Bill Martin, was the same Martin who wrote a book called Ethical Marxism.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. A few years ago, schools in California banned this book because it defined oral sex. Apparently it’s better to be illiterate than to know what oral sex is.

500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, Elizabeth Martinez.Banned recently in Tucson, Arizona’s school district, where,according to Marshall University, at least 60% of students are from Mexican-American families. The whole Mexican studies program was nixed. The real question isn’t so much why, but rather, how was this decision attributed to anything other than racism?

Where’s Waldo, Martin Handford.  Apparently if you look closely enough, there’s a breast in one of the images. Some school districts didn’t like that, so in the early 1990s they made sure Waldo Would never be found again, not realizing that it would be nearly impossible to find the culprit.

Scary Stories, Alvin Schwartz. Anyone who had read these books will confirm that they are as terrifying as the drawings are haunting. That’s no reason to ban them, as some school districts decided to do in the last three years—there are only so many ways to teach your children not to hide in small small spaces.

Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare.  In 1996 schools in a  New Hampshire town thought that the alternative lifestyle promoted by this story, wasn’t good for their kids to learn about.
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