Librarian: Lay off Captain Underpants, it gets kids to read
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NORTH BEND, Ore. -- The title 'Banned Books Week' may be often misunderstood, as it's not a week to go out and remove controversial books from the shelves.
It is to encourage people to get out and open books that will open their minds.
Gary Sharp, the North Bend Library Director, says the week is about embracing reading what you want to. "We are not banning books," he said. "What we are really doing is celebrating the right of Americans to read the materials they wish to read."
In 2012, 464 books were challenged in libraries across the country for various reasons. "We respect people's opinions about what their own children read or what they themselves read, but when you're trying to stop somebody else from reading and learning and thinking about something, that's where librarians start to ask you why do you want to stop someone else," said assistant library director Abbie Anderson.
One of the most challenged books last year was the Captain Underpants series. "They say we shouldn't be giving this to our children, and of course boys, especially who don't like to read, eat these books up. So, librarians and school teachers tend to be partial to those things that will encourage young people to read," said Sharp.
He says Coos County is a very open minded and accepting community of books that are often challenged.