Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 27, 2012

The right to read

TAHLEQUAH — If you were a student visiting the Eldon, Mo., library in 1978 and needed to look up a word in the dictionary, you’d have been out of luck.

The American Heritage dictionary was banned from the Eldon library in 1969 and 1978 because of 39 “objectionable words.”

The same was true in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1987 for including the slang definition for the word “balls.”

September 30 through Oct. 6 is Banned Books Week, and libraries and organizations across the country are celebrating the right to read, including Tahlequah Public Library and Tahlequah Middle School Library.

Brenda Maddan, media specialist at Tahlequah Middle School, said during her 10-year tenure she’s not been asked to remove a book from the school’s library shelves.

“There are several lists out of there of banned and challenged books,” said Maddan. “We have not been presented with any challenges, although we do have a process in place for parents and students to do so. If someone objects to a title, we have a form here at the library and online they can fill out and turn in.”

According to Tahlequah Public Schools policy, once a form is filled out challenging a title, a decision about its removal is made following recommendations from a school committee, administration, the school board and the media center coordinator.

Tahlequah Public Library staffer Cherokee Kimple said the American Library Association has a full listing of books that have been challenged or banned by libraries across the country.

“We’ve only had two challenges in the 10 years I’ve been here,” said Kimple. “The titles were ‘Rainbow Boys’ and ‘10,000 Dresses.’”

Kimple said TPL also has a process for challenging titles, which includes filling out a form at the circulation desk.

“Once we receive the request, the entire staff reads the book being challenged,” said Kimple.

“Then we decide, collectively, if it should be pulled. We have never pulled a book from our shelves, though. If the person challenging the title isn’t satisfied with our decision, they can appeal it to the Eastern Oklahoma District Library System. So far, though, the people challenging titles have been satisfied with our decision.”

The Tahlequah Public Library has a display in its lobby featuring yellow crime tape with the words “enter if you dare” draped over a backboard proclaiming next week Banned Books Week. The display also includes a number of books wrapped in brown paper, revealing only their titles and authors. Titles making the banned book lists  include “The Great Gatsby,” “A Farewell to Arms,” “The Lord of the Flies,” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” Many are considered classics by educators, if not required reading for some classes.

“Most people who stop by this display and tell us they’ve read at least one of the books; some are simply shocked the titles were ever challenged,” said Kimple. “They are genuinely offended a book they love would be challenged. Did you know the dictionary has made the list? So has the Bible.”

Maddan said TMS does little to recognize Banned Book Week, as it historically falls during the school’s annual book fair.

“We are passing out bookmarks that say ‘join the banned, protect your right to read,’ during the book fair,” said Maddan. “But mostly, we’re excited about the annual book fair, and this year it’s going to be especially exciting.”

According to Maddan, last year TMS won the national book fair award. As a result, Roland Smith, best-selling author of young adult fiction, will make an appearance at this year’s fair to present the library with a $2,000 check.

Smith is the author of “Peak,” the “Storm Runner” series and “Shatterproof,” which Maddan said are “wildly popular” among her students.

“It’s a huge deal to have him here, and the kids are really excited,” said Maddan.

Maddan goes all out when it comes to drawing youth in for the fair, featuring a different theme each year.

“This year’s theme is ‘All-Star Readers,’ and we’ve adopted a Hollywood flair,” said Maddan.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Stocks