A school library for children can be an exciting place for them to escape and delve into their imaginations. A place where they can freely make decisions on their own, making a justified choice on a book that will teach them. With over 100,000 libraries in the United States, almost a fourth of them being school libraries, children all over have a place where they have free access to books. However, when these young learners find unsuited material on the shelves that could have an adverse impact on their development, what is one to do? These books need to be banned and censored to help protect their innocence.
Many comic books and graphic novels in the children’s section of libraries often contain references to drugs, violence, inappropriate behavior and other controversial topics. We live in a generation were children are growing up faster than normal. Their brains are like sponges, no matter the age that they are. It’s very easy to be exposed to violence and imitate it after reading certain material. Until children are of the appropriate age where they can differentiate between wrong and right they shouldn’t have books in their reading sections that could influence them to go out and act on negative behaviors like smoking, drinking, cursing or disrespecting people of authority. For example, very famous children’s novel Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh was banned from several schools for being a bad example for children. It was also challenged for teaching children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.
There are many reading materials to choose from library shelves. A lot of the material made available could be filled with witch-craft, sexually explicit content, offensive language or even political disputes which are things that are not appropriate for some age groups. There could also be references to racism and illegal acts praising them as just everyday activities. These books are no way at all appropriate for any age group. Now, you might be asking, “What about the tenth grader? Can’t they read about drugs or various behaviors just for entertainment?” Well, even at the high school level there are a number of books that are just too graphic and go past being informative to openly and overly derogatory. This can give these still impressionable youth the wrong image, leading them down the wrong path. As the authority, adults and facilitators have the ability to control the rate at which a child is exposed to graphic information. The content that young people are being exposed to whether negative or positive sticks with them. According to an article entitled “To Censor or Not to Censor at School Libraries” by Qianli Hu, it references the Washington-area sniper shooting case. In that case, 18-year-old Lee Malvo confessed that the indoctrination, military training, physical workouts and reading inappropriate materials clearly contributed to his ultimate crime.
These books are possibly corrupting the youth of today. Even books that include magic and religious references can become tricky because they can influence children to believe other than what their parents have taught them. Books in libraries are separated by age but even in each age group there are books about things that are simply too much for a child to read. Having these books in libraries also limits when parents want their children to be exposed to certain topics.
Unsuitable books should be banned from school libraries. Any book, in any age group’s section that contains references to explicit material should be monitored and not kept out for easy access. Communities, officials and even parents need to go about doing so by looking at every single book that is being exposed to children. There are numerous amounts of reading materials that are available for each age group that can still keep them engaged and help them to learn. This prevents them from learning the wrongs of life too soon or even being exposed to material that they don’t need to learn about through a book but should be explained to them thoroughly by a parent or authorities.