Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran, Florida, and The Man

And once again we are straying from the primary purpose of this blog (to let you know about library stuff, books, and reading related things.) However, Alissa and I are both pretty passionate about the things I am posting on. Ally is really into politics as a whole (me not so much...I kind suck at politics) and I am always into protesting and standing up for what you believe in (her too only not as loudly as me!) Also, we both think that it is pretty important for you to be aware of what is going on in the world. This week there was a (possibly rigged) election in Iran. I don't know a lot about it. I know the basic facts but I am not really up-to-date on my Iranian politics. John Green seemed pretty informed in this video though. You can also type in "Iran election" into any search engine and get a huge amount of information. The point is that I don't think we have to know everything there is to know about Iran to know that if this election was rigged (which since they are recounting the votes seems pretty likely) that it is wrong. If you are going to ask for the opinions of the people then make sure you listen to what they say. Many of the YA authors that we love and support are sending their support to the Iranian people. Scott Westerfeld has a wonderful blog post here explaining the new time change in our posting. Basically in Iran there are censors who are looking at all blogs with Tehran local settings in order to find and shut down any blogs protesting the election. Since changing the settings to GMT +3:30 makes it harder for them to do their jobs, he is encouraging everyone who has a blog to change the settings. It is a wonderful blog post and you should all go read it. Like him I would like to tell any Iranian censors that I pretty much think oppression sucks and so do rigged elections. I hope that in the time you wasted reading this post that some people who actually know what's going on there were able to continue their protests! Have a wonderful day killing the spirit of your people!

Speaking of oppression...the lovely Maureen Johnson is still having trouble with her book censoring friends in Florida. Go watch her hilarious/heart warming video here to see what she thinks of censorship...(hint she's not a fan)... Here's the thing. I know that I have had several "book challenging" tangents on here...but I HATE IT!!! Seriously. Yes, you have the right to say "I don't want my child to read this," but you do not have the right to say that other children shouldn't read something. I am a librarian, I order a lot of books, I read a lot of books (obviously), I love YA lit. I have no problem telling the parent of a 12 or 13 year old that they should look at a book before their kid reads it, or that a book has mature content. That is part of my job (in my opinion) and it is helpful because I don't get a lot of challenges. However, I have about 20 teens who come and check out books. It is a lot easier for me to police my YA section than it is for librarians at larger libraries. And truthfully, it isn't our job. It is a parents job to be aware of what their children are reading. They should read entire books though, not just passages of books before they make the decision that a book is inappropriate. *Deep breath* Okay, now that my tangents are over, I hope that all of you are equally as disgusted as I am about Iran and Florida book challengers, and that you all have wonderful days!


Anonymous said...

Hey Rochelle,

This is Alissa. I wanted to add to some of the things you were saying. I think that not only teens but Americans in general don't see outside what is happening in their own home. We spend so much time feeling sorry for ourselves when over half the world has it worse than we do.