Banned Books Week Matching Game

Once again, it is that time of year.  Banned Books Week is upon us (September 22 – 28, 2013) and halfway over now!

Banner of banned books

As librarians, we need to stand up for our patron’s rights to read whatever they choose and to fight censorship.  As the American Library Association (ALA) puts it, Banned Books Week allows us to “draw national attention to the harms of censorship.”  So, how are some libraries doing this?  Let’s take a look.

Libraries Raising Awareness

Check out some of the ways public libraries are interacting with their patrons to celebrate Banned Books Week and raise awareness.

Also check out these library crime scenes for reading banned books from years past:

  • The Spencer Public Library set up caution tape around a chair and throughout the day a librarian would sit in the chair and read a banned book.  There was a sign attached to the area that said “This librarian is reading a banned or challenged book.”
  • Oak Park Public Library took mugshots of their staff and patrons holding either a banned/challenged book or a sign that said “Caught reading banned books.”
  • Dayton Metro Library caged its staff and librarians one year and another year, they created a caged area where patrons could go read banned books within the cage.
  • In 2011, the Moore Memorial Public Library, with help from some of their teen patrons, staged a crime scene with book “victims.”

You should also check out what the Magpie Librarian is doing this year for Banned Books Week.  It’s pretty awesome!

And these are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are so many more out there!

So… about this Matching Game?

I really liked the trading card idea that I saw floating around in 2012 during banned books week.  Lawrence Public Library seemed to the be the library I saw featured for this idea.  It seems they are doing it again this year.  From a *very* brief search, it appears Chapel Hill Public Library is doing something similar this year.

Matching Game screenshot

I decided that I wanted to use the card idea, but make it an online matching game.  Ideally, you would have to match a brief synopsis of the book to the cover/title of the book.  Unfortunately, my tech skills are not quite so mad as to be able to figure out how to match two items with different appearances.  For now, the matching game is played the traditional way – match two identical covers of books that have been banned.  Unfortunately, you can’t test it out right now because the server I use for it is down, so you are stuck seeing the screenshot only.  Sorry.

I think it would be great to have a link to this game on a library home page, so that people who are interested could play a quick game.  It is a form of passive programming and can reach some of the virtual library users.

You could also make a physical version of it and have an area set up where patrons and/or librarians could play during Banned Books Week.  And, because you have control over the cards you make and are not limited by my poor coding skills, you can make as many different covers as you want.  You could also incorporate the idea of matching the synopsis to the book.

What about you?

What is your library doing this year?  What have they done in the past?  Have you seen anything recently that really inspires you?  Share it!