Sunday marked the start of National Library Week. Judy Blume, author and intellectual freedom advocate, is the honorary chair.
In a public service announcement, Blume emphasizes that libraries are having to do more with less and that shrinking budgets demand hard choices. “So many people depend upon libraries for free job searches, free internet access, health care information and resources that support education.” Blume urges listeners to get involved with their libraries.
The campaign cites findings by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom: Blume’s books for young adults are among the most frequently challenged in library collections for their portrayals of puberty, bullying and sexuality.
In an essay on her website, Places I Never Meant to Be, Blume says that controversy wasn’t on her mind when she began writing her books.
“I wanted only to write what I knew to be true. I wanted to write the best, the most honest books I could, the kinds of books I would have liked to read when I was younger. If someone had told me then I would become one of the most banned writers in America, I’d have laughed.”
Blume adds that awareness is the first step when combating censorship.
“Become informed. Take a stand. Work with the adults in your community. Don’t try to do it on your own. Contact one or more of the following support groups immediately.”