Thoughts from an Acute Triangle is a feature I started where I discuss things related to the book field. This is a place for me to be a little brainy. The conversation is always open for comments and if there is ever a topic you want me to discuss, please leave a comment!
Now this might enrage me a little more than others, as I am a member of the American Library Association and studying to be a librarian, but I feel like this article is simply an attack against the ALA and librarians as a whole.
Goldberg writes, "Banned Books Week is an exercise in propaganda" (2011). Is it propaganda to promote the intellectual freedom of our society? Is it propaganda to try to stop individual citizens from applying their opinion and views on every other person within that community? No, real propaganda is thrown in your face each day when you watch television, when you pick up the newspapers, and when you turn on the radio; Because if you know the definition then you would know that propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself. I don't think promoting propaganda is what the ALA is doing with their news articles and their highlighting of banned books. The only thing they possibly gain from it, is the promotion of intellectual freedom and the importance of reading.
Goldberg additionally states, "Indeed, it's a staple of nearly every major newspaper to at least let the American Library Association air its dire warnings about the growing threat to the freedom to read" (2011). Well let us walk back in time and examine why there would be such a fierce position against the threat to the freedom to read. In 1933, Nazi German authorities started to synchronize professional and cultural organizations with Nazi ideology and policy. On May 10, 1933, university students, under the guidance of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, burned over 25,000 volumes that were deemed "un-German". This act ushered in an era of state censorship and control of the culture. Now you might think I'm being ridiculous, but the censorship of books is the first step to this horrendous act. And book burning still takes place in America, typically by the American right, which is just as much of a problem as Goldberg claim's the "American left" is (2011).
But I think the statement that Goldberg wrote, which made me the angriest was: "As an educational enterprise, it denigrates the United States as a backward, censorial country when it's anything but. It demeans parents and other citizens who take an interest in the schools" (2011). Now I don't believe he understands what the ALA does, but it is conveniently outlined within the ALA Code of Ethics. Principle II states: We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources. Furthermore, principle IV states: We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders. The point is not to demean parents or other citizens, and the point is not that librarians feel the U.S. is some police state, but it is a fact that with the censorship, a limited amount of people are trying to dictate what other people should or should not read, and that is an infringement on their rights.
So with that said, I will continue to fight for peoples’ right to think what they want to think, say what they want to say, and read what they want to read, and yes that courtesy includes Jonah Goldberg even if he doesn't seem willing to extend the same courtesy to others by supporting a movement which is so important.