Friday, September 5, 2008

Banned Books

by Pa Rock

One of the items buzzing across cyberspace this week was an allegation that Sarah Palin fired the town librarian of Wasilla, AK, because she refused to ban certain books with offensive language from the town's public library. There was a loud outcry from many citizens, and she was forced to withdraw the firing on the following day. (The incident is recounted in Anne Kilkenny's now famous email that has also flown through cyberspace this week. It's a fairly even-handed look at Ms. Palin's political history from someone who knows her well. Just google Kilkenny and Palin.)

Kilkenny and others relate that the firing and rehiring did occur, and that it was due to Palin wanting to put her Pentecostal seal of approval on what the town's citizens could and could not read at the local library. What is unclear, however, is what books were on her list. There are apparently dozens of librarians currently scouring Alaskan archives trying to locate Sarah's hit list.

While looking for that information, I did come across some standard lists of books that have been routinely banned by schools and libraries in the United States. One good list can be found at

I also discovered while in pursuit of Sarah's disappeared list, a notice that the American Library Association's "Banned Books Week" will be September 27-October 4. I think we should all celebrate by reading at least a couple of these dangerous books. Perhaps I will also order one or two from and send them to the Wasilla Library as a gift from Pa Rock.

Who would like to join me in this literary endeavor?

The address for the library is:

Wasilla Public Library
391 N Main St
Wasilla, AK 99654
(907) 376-5913

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