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Banned Books Week at Beeghly Library

by Christine Elliott on 2019-09-23T12:48:22-04:00 | Comments

September 22-28 is Banned Books Week in the United States, and this week, the library is celebrating with an interactive display.

The display includes a small collection of banned books, resources on censorship and banned materials, and a white board for students and faculty to mark the banned books they have read.

Banned Books Week is a great time to discuss certain publications and topics that are targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. We want to bring attention to the dangers of censorship.

On Friday, we are hosting a viewing of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Addressing Identity Censorship Webinar featuring Lilah Sturgess (Lumberjanes and other titles) and John Spears (Chief Librarian, and CEO of Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, CO). It is scheduled for Friday, September 27, from 3pm - 4:30pm.

As the ALA states on their website: "Books usually are challenged with the best intentions -- to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. Censorship can be subtle, almost imperceptible, as well as blatant and overt, but, none the less harmful."

Our display this week highlights nine titles:

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for including sexual violence and was thought to "lead to terrorism" and "promote Islam"
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for being sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, and "contains controversial issues"
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
    • Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed "anti-cop," and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for being sexually explicit
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for reference to occult/Satanism, offensive language
  • Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for being considered "racially insensitive"
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeir
    • Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes

The display will be up all week, and we encourage our community explore the growing list of banned book titles and examine why they feel a title or subject should or should not be banned.

Banned Books FAQ

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