Librarians are Awesome.

Love this story:
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz writes about a courageous school librarian in Norman, Oklahoma who made sure that local teenagers smitten with young adult novelist Ellen Hopkins got to hear her speak. After realizing that she used the f-word and wrote honestly about meth addiction–which Hopkins own daughter had suffered from–in her wildly popular novel Crank, parents and local radio loud mouths called for Hopkins’ book to be banned. Not only that–the superintendent disinvited Hopkins from speaking, despite the fact that she explores some key social issues affecting the Norman community and brings a definitively anti-drug message.
Middle-school librarian Karin Perry to the rescue! Schultz reports:

Perry asked Hopkins if she would still come. The answer was yes. Then she asked Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College — love the name — if she could move Hopkins’ talk to their campus. The college said yes. About 150 students, parents, teachers and librarians attended last week’s speech.

Go Perry! I love librarians. And it’s a good week to love ‘em. As Schultz reports, “This is Banned Books Week, which is sponsored annually by the American Library Association to celebrate the freedom to read. The library group says there were at least 513 challenges to books last year.” Cool added bonus: check out this blog, Future Feminist Librarian-Activist.
Thanks to the Women’s Media Center for the heads up.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted October 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Always heartening to see the librarian-love on Feministing!
    My current favorite Banned Books Week story: I discovered that my predecessor (I’m in my first year as a high school librarian) kept a number of books in his office, where students had to ask him to access them. Among these? An uncatalogued (meaning students wouldn’t even know we Had it) copy of Forever.
    (For those of you who don’t already know the many reasons to love Judy Blume, Forever is also #7 on the list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-1999.)
    In setting up my Banned Books Week display, I decided that (newly catalogued) Forever should absolutely be one of the titles I featured. And no sooner had I set up the table than a student snatched it up and checked it out.

  2. Ellen Marie-Frances
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m a librarian at the community college I’m attending and I have to say that this story inspires me. Thanks so much! By the way, I would love to have a t-shirt with that picture on it to wear to work. Next time you’re in a library, thank the librarian who’s helping you and try to have some patience, we’re working our butts off! From yours truly, a bookworm

  3. Christina
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Karin Perry!
    My husband is a librarian and I have worked in the field as well. It truly is a rewarding career.

  4. cattrack2
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    A very cool, feel good story! In this day & age, you gotta love it when someone stands up for the principles & ethics of their profession.

  5. bookwoman27
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Rock on, fellow librarians. :)

  6. kisekileia
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m seriously impressed that a Baptist college was willing to host that.

  7. fwavebex
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    As a huge bookworm, I have always been positive that every librarian I’ve met was a superheroine/superhero in disguise. They were the gatekeepers to the magical world of books and knowledge!
    Librarians rule all.
    *I read banned books!!!*

  8. QueenMum
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I, too, want that t-shirt! My school district has eliminated the librarian position. Now I carry on the good fight in my classroom as an English teacher.

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