Does Avon Ban Books?

Nathan Miller | Editor-in-Chief

This article has been banned because it’s not age-appropriate.

A joke here, but very serious for some books in high school libraries. The American Library Association keeps a list of the most frequently challenged and banned books in high school libraries: “Harry Potter,” “Looking for Alaska,” and “Thirteen Reasons Why” have topped the charts in years passed.

Picture1In the 1982 Supreme Court case Island Trees School District v. Pico, the court ruled 5-4 that schools may not restrict books based on their idea content; they could, however, remove them if they are not age-appropriate for the students.

AHS Librarian Robyn Young is proud that her library does not ban books.

“I do not censor or ban books at all,” Young said. “We celebrate them and say ‘no, read these banned books because it’s good for you to have all kinds of knowledge.’”

That being said, Avon still has a plan for when the community is unhappy with a library book.

“People have to read the book in its entirety… We have to have an understanding of the full work of literature,” Young said. “Then there’s a library advisory committee that would meet and determine is this valid or is this not valid.”

Young has been asked to use this reconsideration process three times, none of which have resulted in a book being removed. She emphasized the personal choice each person has in what they read.

“What you might be uncomfortable with, other people might really want to read,” Young said.

What about the books students don’t have a choice in, class readings? In accordance with School Board policy 2451, a student who’s uncomfortable with a required book could read a similar book in its place. When things like this do happen, Young said respect is always important.

“Just talk to people individually,” Young said. “People just want to be heard — they just want to know ‘hey, my opinion matters too.’”


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