Oh, Harry. The boy-wizard who sparked a craze. His magical world of Hogwarts, quidditch, moving pictures and epic battles against He Who Shall Not Be Named captivated young and old alike, triggering a renewed appreciation, perhaps, for the genres of children’s and young adult literature, and spawning a marketing frenzy.
Harry’s popularity, however, came with the dark side of fame as well: the inevitable chorus of those who cried that the book was filled with evil, Satanic forces that would lure helpless children into the darkness. This is against the Bible, they cried, ignoring the fact that the Bible plays and should play no role (nor should any other religious text, for that matter), in determining the place of Harry Potter on the shelves of publicly funded libraries.
This is absurd. Though I understand that there are parents who would like to prevent their children from learning about what they believe to be occult, demonic forces (not that I agree with their rationale, but I respect that they have a right to raise their kids as they see fit), if parents wish to restrict their children’s access to certain materials, the onus lies on them to do so.
The librarian and the library cannot and should not be the censorship police, restricting access to a book because a particular group feels the book is inappropriate. How is it fair that all the children in a particular community of classroom be deprived of the chance to read a particular book simply because some find it objectionable?