For Banned Books Week 2017 (September 24-30) I read The Librarian of Basra, which was included in a 2015-2016 list of challenged books (Doyle, 2016, p. 8). This true story depicts efforts to safeguard books in a war-torn area (Winter, 2005).
At the same time USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College had a photo exhibit on American women rebuilding France after World War I. A few of the pictures showed aid workers bringing books to the devastated region.
The Banned Books Week theme is “Words have power.” In both cases people understood this power and protected the written word. Both stories show how we can’t take reading for granted.
Doyle, R. P. (2016). Books challenged or banned, 2015-2016. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.
Winter, J. (2005). The librarian of Basra: A true story from Iraq. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.