After a lackluster response to Banned Books week at the campus library, Scott DiMarco decided to ban a book to prove a point, and to do a little experiment:
I made the announcement—a simple two-sentence memo (on letterhead), placed on our Facebook wall. The angry reaction from students, faculty, alumni, and other “interested parties,” was immediate. A local newspaper reporter contacted Miller within 20 minutes of the posting. A Facebook protest page was created within a day and people from around the country were voicing their angry thoughts. One person even posted that he didn’t know books were still being banned.
The story doesn’t end there, though. The key message was that there was a lot of apathy about banned books, and even after the outpour of internet-activism there was still not a lot of real-world engagement to try to explain the ban or have it reversed.
I do love Scott’s observation that:
Sometimes you have to kick-start the intellect with a good boot to the emotion.
Read the results of the experiment here: http://crln.acrl.org/content/74/7/368.full