Library honors 'Where's Waldo?' and other banned books

Library honors 'Where's Waldo?' and other banned books

EUGENE, Ore. - "Little House on the Prairie"? Racist.

"A Wrinkle in Time"? Undermines religious beliefs.

"Where's Waldo?"?

"Where's Waldo?" Eli McDougal asked looking at a display of banned and censored books. "Why is that banned?"

From time to time, and from place to place, books some would consider part of the essential literature of the English language wind up the targets of efforts to ban books from libraries and schools.

"Sometimes people feel so strongly about a particular view point that they ask that people are not even able to hear an idea if they feel it's really wrong," said Connie Bennett, director of library services for the City of Eugene.

The american library association publishes a list every year of banned or challenged literature.

One of the most challenged in 2012 - "And Tango Makes Three"- is a picture book based on a true story.

Two little penguins raising an egg suddenly becomes controversial when "it's two male penguins," Bennett said. "But it's based on a real incident."

Banned Book Week is not just about reading forbidden novels. It's about a freedom from censorship and access to all these different ideas and experiences.

"That's really what a public library is all about," Bennett said.

Bennett describes the library as a buffet, where you pick what you need - and what you can handle.

People at the Eugene Library on Monday said books can start converstaions - and people should be able to decide what is right to read for themselves.

"I think it could add to our social consciousness. by engaging in dialogues that may be challenging," Kristin Ward said.

"In general, I don't think books should be censored," Marvin Davis said. "But I'd have to take it book by book and see what material is in there."

You might have to do a lot of looking: "Where's Waldo?" got in trouble over allegations the crowd scenes included depictions of lewd behavior.

But Bennett said she has yet to meet someone who managed to find the lewd scenes before they found Waldo.