I spent most of my childhood in libraries, whether it was going to the public library,whether it was my school library or going to visit my mother who was in elementary school reading teacher and hanging out in that library.
So I've always been surrounded by books and what I always loved about that was whenever I wanted to read about, I could just reach out and touch.
Honestly, maybe it's just me, but I love just the actual physical feeling of being in the library. Having a book in my hand. The smell of the book. An e-reader just doesn't have the same experiences as actually sitting someplace where you can just reach out and touch whatever you want.
And I learned from a very young age how to use the Dewey Decimal System. How to find what I wanted to read. How to actually approach a book and just even being able to talk to the librarian and ask a simple question like, "Hey, I'm looking for a book on..." whatever the subject was that I was interested in.
[How do you use the library?] Mainly research...you know it's easy to sort of do superficial research on the Internet. Sometimes you need to go out and find the actual books. Sometimes you need to go to very specialized libraries.
And sometimes it's fun to just sort of go and see what's out, and what's coming out. In some ways it's actually easier to figure that out by going to the library than it is going to a bookstore.
There's something about the community of reading that the library fosters that, as a kid, I just loved.
[On Censorship] I'm against it. I think that it's an important
community resource...not...I mean, look, books are probably more available and cheaper than they've ever been, but there are still people who can't afford to go out and spend twenty bucks on a hard cover or spend six bucks on a paperback.
People don't have the resources to go out and find something that interests them. And one of the great things about reading is that if you are doing it right, reading begets more reading and the wonderful thing about a library is, you can finish one book and say, "Wow, that intrigues me..." and some other subject, you can go off and get another book and it makes learning and information free.
Number one, as a parent, I have a responsibility to sit down with my kids and know what he's going to be involved with, whether he's reading it, watching it, or whatever.
Number two, I think that kids are actually pretty good judges of what they're capable of handling, and capable of dealing with, and if you create an environment where they feel comfortable saying, "Hey, I have a question about this thing..." it might be uncomfortable, but it's actually better for dealing with the topics that might be controversial.
The only good thing that comes out of it is that every time someone tries to censor a book, it raises awareness of that book, which means that more people are going to read it.
All author videos are available for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. We encourage libraries and library supporters to reuse this content and ask only that you provide a link back to the website. To request a copy of an author video contact the ALA Office for Library Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.