Secret, Underground Library

May 26, 2009 1 min read

Group blog boingboing recently featured a story about a decidedly atypical high-school rebel. A teenager in a private school is using the unoccupied locker next to her own to run a lending library of banned books. The list includes: The Canterbury Tales, Candide, The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Animal Farm, the Holy Qu’ran, and more. The library’s popularity grew—as did her peers’ interest in reading—through word of mouth and the library now contains 62 banned books. The story surfaced when the girl posted a question about the ethics of her underground library on Yahoo! Answers. She asked:

Before I started, almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading! Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, but go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on. So I'm doing a good thing, right?

Not only is she lending out books, she’s guided by a sense of appropriateness and quality.

I limit my 'library' to only the sophmores [sic], juniors and seniors just in case so you can't say I'm exposing young people to materiel [sic] they're not mature enough for … I am starting [an] appreciation of the classics and truly good novels (Not just fad novels like Twilight) in my generation.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.