July 2nd, 2012

planet

missouri towns, libraries, book censorship

Road trip weekend! We left the baby with grandma, the guinea pigs with a coworker, and the dog with my friend/realtor @LynetteChapman. On the way home we stopped in some little missouri towns to fill some photo gaps up for spacefem's wikipedia summer road trip challenge. We've managed to get a few contributions in already... a months or so ago we stopped in some cute Kansas towns like Eureka and Rosalia, and a not town called Neal Kansas that we will forever refer to as the rock-bottom of the wikipedia adventures because there is NOTHING in Neal Kansas... maybe 10 people, twice as many goats, and some houses that double as churches. We took a picture of the post office. It's honestly the highlight of that town. But now everyone on Wikipedia can know about it.

So anyway, we were in Missouri on this trip and got photos of Ashland, Emma, and Concordia which I'll have up next week. And we stopped in Marshall, MO to visit their Little Free Library because that's another new obsession of mine now, all these little libraries full of books in a thousand places to visit. I've gotten to read all sorts of random new things this year because whenever I want I just walk out my door and there's a constant rotation of newness! It's perfect :) So anyway I had hit the road with a collection of weekend reads from our neighborhood collection, finished two of the books, and figured I'd just leave them in Marshall and see what they had. Their library was a bit understocked so we only exchanged one book for our two.

The interesting thing about Marshall that I read on Wikipedia is that they made national news for a 2006 library controversy... a real one, not the little free ones. A group in town asked them to remove some titles that they thought were "pornography" and unsuitable for children: graphic novels Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Blankets by Craig Thompson. After a major debate, the library set a policy that well-reviewed, widely recognized books deserve to be offered and pulling them would be censorship (even if they're about awful things like lesbians or questioning Christianity... which I bet had a hand in drawing the attention to these books) They were back on the shelves.

So I was telling Marc that if there's one thing we should know about Marshall Missouri, it's that EVERY TEENAGER has read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Blankets by Craig Thompson.