Banned Books Build Community

Thanks to Christopher Reeves and Daily Kos for sharing this Great Idea!

Admitting to limited carpentry skills, Christopher Reeves has determined that the recent spate of book banning around the country demands he respond by building a Little Free Library – and populating it with banned books.

Read his full article here.

A Little Free Library of banned books standing outside your building is a great way to let your community know you stand for diversity, freedom of speech and equity; it’s also a way to support the authors whose books are banned.

You can deepen and expand this justice work in several ways:

  1. Let Little Free Library building be a community-building event. See our previous Great Idea here.
  2. Read and discuss reports about book banning, such as Vox’s Why Book Banning Is Back or Education Week’s Librarians Fight Back Against Efforts to Ban Books in Schools. Be sure to include all ages in the conversations.
  3. Invite local school or public librarians and/or teachers (who are similarly targeted with regard to Critical Race Theory) to lead intergenerational forums and discussions.
  4. Begin an intergenerational group focused on reading banned books – they come in all reading abilities! Base your list on the American Library Association’s list here; or go directly to the banning source with No Left Turn in Education’s website here.
    1. We have some of these books!! Our Banned Books lib guide contains both lists and highlights those we have in our library.
  5. Invite one or more authors of banned books to speak for a community-wide gathering. Partner with local schools, libraries, or other organizations if funding is prohibitive. Find inspiration in MPR’s, Why a School Board’s Ban on ‘Maus’ May Put the Book in the Hands of More Readers.
  6. Brainstorm ways to develop relationships with individuals and organizations represented in the majority of these banned books. How can your congregation become a safe space where difficult questions can be asked and meaningful relationships can be forged?

Interest in banning books is growing among conservative parent groups and is expanding to state legislatures. Free speech and honest history are at stake. As people of the Word, and followers of the Living Word, providing access to wisdom and mystery expressed in the written word is paramount to our existence. Book banning is a call to share books more broadly and explore them more intentionally! Let the community grow together by reading, discussing and sharing books!!!