LOL during library Teen Read Week

Published 11:54 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Area teens will be reading for the fun of it as the Judge George W. Armstrong Library celebrates the 10th annual Teen Read Week, Oct. 21 through 27. We join thousands of other libraries, schools and bookstores across the country who are encouraging teens to celebrate this year’s theme, “LOL @ your library.”

Teen Read Week is the national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association, the fastest growing division of the American Library Association. This year’s theme encourages teens to read humorous books and graphic novels “just for the fun of it.”

Today’s teens seem to have less and less free time. Other activities occur during what little leisure time they have. That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read. Literacy is a topic of both local and national concern, and falling test scores and lower graduation rates among teens today are a serious issue.

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“Treasure your freedom to read; get hooked on a banned book,” declare the pirate-themed event posters. Harry Potter, James and the Giant Peach, and Captain Underpants are just a few examples of books that have faced banishment.

Are your favorite books safe? According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, more than a book a day faces removal from free and open public access in U.S. schools and libraries.

During Banned Books Week, thousands of libraries and bookstores throughout the nation will celebrate a democratic society’s most basic freedom — the freedom to read.

“Not every book is right for every reader,” said American Library Association President Loriene Roy. “Libraries serve users from a variety of backgrounds — that’s why libraries need — and have — such a wide range of materials. Individuals must have the right to choose what materials are suitable for themselves and their families.”

Ultimately, parents are the best judge for their own children.

This year the Judge George W. Armstrong Library is inviting area teens in grades 6 through 12 to come and celebrate Teen Read Week, Banned Books Week and Halloween all together from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. There will be games, prizes, snacks, crafts and a Halloween movie (costumes optional). Call the library for more information, 601-445-8862, or e-mail

Marianne Sweeney-Raley is a librarian at the Armstrong Library.