Popular books such as Hunger Games, My Sisters Keeper, and Kite Runner are featured in the librarian display case which is wrapped in red caution tape that reads Danger Do Not Enter. These books have been challenged or banned from libraries at some point in time. This week, East’s library joins thousands of other public libraries and book stores all over the country, to participate in Book Banning Week. This annual event is where people read banned books to celebrate their freedom and the First Amendment. Book displays, book talks, and other special events educate others about the harms of censorship. Kathy Knop, the East librarian, participates in Book Banning Week every year.
“It is important to let people know that we should have the right to read what we want and not have others tell us what is right and wrong,” Knop said.
Book Banning Week was started in 1982, in reaction to an increase in the number of books challenged. According to the American Librarian Association, ALA, over 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982 and more than a book a day faces removal from public access in school and public libraries due to challenges.
Challenges are formal written complaints attempting to remove or restrict material in a book that they deem as inappropriate. Throughout history, all types of people and groups have tried to ban books and continue to because they conflict with their beliefs. Many of them challenge books with the intention that they are protecting others from difficult ideas and information. In order to prevent a book from being banned parents, teachers, students, and other members in society advocate for a book or a collection to be kept in libraries.