I fell in love with libraries because they are subversive.

It was Banned Books Week that inspired me to be a librarian.

I was a student at North Idaho College, and I was meandering through the Molstead Library. I had become a regular, and had frequently checked out an old copy of Moby Dick, mostly because the checkout slip on the inside fascinated me with dates going back several decades.I walked by a table set up with books covered in paper chains. The display caught my eye.

A big sign read BANNED BOOKS WEEK and there was some more information explaining that the books on display were books that had been banned in the USA.

Image from Café Press

I was shocked. I had no idea before then that books could even be banned in the US. I was young and pretty naïve, but I knew about the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.

That display made an impression on me. It made me glad that the library and the librarians stood up against censorship, that they chose to be pro active in educating people about it.

I admired the way they advocated for free and open access to all information and the way they were actively fighting for intellectual freedom.

It was amazing. I knew then that a library was a safe space, that it was a temple of knowledge.

That was when I fell in love with libraries. That is why I eventually became a librarian.

While I have your attention, check out this pretty awesome Banned Books Week display by Rachel Moani of the Timberland Regional Library (where I used to work!).



Author: Larissa Hammond

Librarian. Writer. Mom.