Monday, May 25, 2009

Banned Library Run From Locker

A pupil submitted a question to Yahoo! Answers, requesting information as to whether or not running a library of "banned" books from her school locker breaks any laws. The writer said she knew it was against school policy and that "[She] would be in so much trouble if [she] got caught," but said she believes it is the right thing to do because few of her peers were interested in reading before she set-up shop.

Some of the books she militaristically loaned ("I keep an inventory log and give people due dates and everything") included The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Other texts include religious books. The list included many books which puzzled readers as to why they had been banned, though the poster clarifies at the start of the question that she attends "a rather strict... private school."

In fact, while some commenters questioned the veracity of the post, saying this poster created the Question by combining banned titles from several, disparate schools. But Weird Ink has brought you several stories of book-banning. If the Question does not detail a situation happening IRL, it is an odd choice of forums, as Yahoo! Questions hardly constitutes an authority.

The answers questions prompt may have social or cultural significance, as they give you an idea of what a cross-section of the Netizenry is thinking - or at least saying - about a subject, but who is that cross-section and how much do they truly believe what they espouse? There are also groups and individuals who knowingly post and spread misinformation for political reasons, or simply because they can. In this case though, the report was written months after the question was posed and closed, so the answers do not devolve into the kind of thing that... the comments on the report did.

Whatever the case may be, some good came of it: there are many informative links to be found in the Comments to the report and it is still stirring discussion.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment