professornana (professornana) wrote,

filters and other silent censors

I was hoping to show some librarians today around my blog and Twitter but I could not. Their internet access is filtered. I could pull up Twitter's home page but not my own page. Forget the blogosphere. I could have used my USB modem and gone where I wanted, but I had plenty to say with just books (and I certainly did include Ellen Hopkins, Sarah Ockler, Laurie Halse Anderson, and a few other banned authors/books and MANIFESTO which Ellen Hopkins gave us last year for BBW). However, my brain just won't these things go easily. I can gain outside access easily. What about those who cannot?

I think of how easy it is for the resident of the back bedroom to read ANY book she wants, to visit ANY website she needs to access for information. What about all those other kids who do not have that freedom, that opportunity? A librarian at the workshop today told me about a parent who came into her library (she has the only after hours program in her area) and needed to apply for a job online. The site was blocked. This mother had no other way to access the application form. Of course, the librarian used her log-in to gain access for the parent, What if that had not happened? Someone does not get a crack at a job because her internet access is only through a neighborhood school whose filter for whatever reason, would not allow her access.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, I do wonder about how lack of access keeps some people from full participation in this electronic-connected-online age. I wonder about all the kids whose education consists only of the test prep because they do not get more from parents who have the time, energy, and finances to take them to libraries, plays, countries or to buy them books or to talk to them about the ideas presented in class or to give them a different perspective, etc. I not only wonder; I worry.

As Banned Books Week draws to a close, I know that a week is simply not enough. There is too much going on in the arena of censorship. It has been easy to ignore it for the most part because it does not come into my house. But it does prevent others from books that could save them or at least make them THINK. So, now I need to dedicate myself to reading about the issues and commenting on them often. I hope you will join me.

Tags: bbw, censorship, speakloudly
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