Freedom to read: Banned Books week

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Staff Writer

Banned Books in Library
Banned books wrapped up in the display case in the Schurz Library. PHOTO CREDIT/ Eva Monhaut


Pick up your favorite book and celebrate your freedom to read because National Banned Books Week is Sept. 23-29. National Banned Books Week is held every year at the end of September and celebrates the freedom to read. Libraries all over focus on books that have been challenged or banned in history.

Perhaps, one of your favorite books was once banned. Some of the books we now hold to be classics were once forbidden such as J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and even Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.”

When asked what the importance of being able to read books freely is librarians

“Banned Books Week fosters the idea that all voices should be heard, even if unpopular or controversial.  It also opens discussions about first amendment rights, diversity and diverse ideas, and the power of literature,” said Vicki Bloom, dean of library services.

“I’ve always found it insulting that kids shouldn’t be allowed to make up their minds for themselves, that they need to be protected and coddled and shielded from the world,” said Craig Finlay, assistant librarian, scholarly communications.

“The world is waiting for them, whether the school board likes it or not. And kids are far cannier than I feel most adults give them credit for,” he said.

Banned Book Week is a week that Finlay enjoys very much.

“People try to ban books from schools and libraries because something in it offended them and the effect has been that people pay even more attention to it. Few things in this world will get librarians up in arms faster than trying to ban a book.  And you do not want a bunch of pissed off librarians coming after you. They never stop,” said Finlay.

The Schurz Library often celebrates banned books week here on campus with display cases in the library and in the past other events such as reading from a previously banned book in the years 2004-2009. This display is currently up in the Franklin D. Schurz Library through the end of September.

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