Libraries nationwide are celebrating our freedom to read during this year’s Banned Books Week, September 24-30. The American Library Association explains Banned Books Week this way:
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Helmke Library is celebrating Banned Books Week by offering IPFW community members a Blind Date with a Banned Book. At a table inside the library’s first floor entrance, choose from a selection of books labeled not by title or author, but with the reason the book was challenged or banned. Check out the book to discover what inspired each attempt at censorship.
Mostly light reading fiction, these books are a great way to relax while at the same time affirming the exchange of ideas that make democracy and our society prosper. Some examples of challenged books included in our Blind Date selections are Harry Potter, The Kite Runner, Brave New World, and James and the Giant Peach – and many others you will know and likely love. Stop by the library and check one out!