Friday, October 2, 2015

I Read Banned Books and Give Them to the Amish too

by Austina Shaker from the Murder, Plainly Read by Isabella Alan


I am a librarian and I will not censor. Every year, books are challenged in schools and in libraries for their questionable content. The American Library Association monitors these challenged books. So many wonderful books have been banned, including classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone with the Wind.

As a librarian in Amish Country, books being challenged is a constant battle, especially those books that I deliver to the Amish communities with the library's bookmobile. Some of the more conservative Amish do not want their church members reading anything other than the Bible. I’m not one to tell someone what to believe, but if a patron comes to me, Amish or English, looking for a book I will find him or her the book he or she want no questions asked. That is my job and calling as a librarian.

One bishop who is  particularly vocal about his disdain for the written word is Bishop Bartholomew Beiler. Beiler has been a thorn in my side for months as he’s chased my bookmobile from many Amish schoolyards and chastised his members, many of whom are young women, for reading fiction. Living in Holmes County, Ohio, I have a respect for the Amish, but men like Beiler, who care more about controlling the members of their churches not sharing the word of God with them, I have no use for.

I am at my wit’s end with this odious man, and I have a feeling that things are about to come to a head with him. I will be ready. I will protect my patrons right to read at any cost.




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2 comments:

  1. I see more conflict ahead! I love Banned Books Week. You can find some great reads on the list. Kudos to librarians everywhere!

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  2. Censorship in any form is a tough pill to swallow. It is tough to see some attempting to control what others watch, hear, see and learn. My morals and values are mine alone, I would never thrust them on another and don't want others to thrust theirs on me. I would hope that everyone has the abiltiy to choose what they read, watch or listen to on their own.

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