Banned Books Week: Kick-off

Banned Books Week Display at Kenton

Today kicks off this year’s Banned Books Week. Its purpose is to raise awareness on how many books are being questioned or challenged by certain groups who then want those books to be pulled from schools, libraries, and bookstores. Some reasons for objections are the content is too sexual, too violent, too vulgar in terms of language, too offensive to certain racial or religious groups, and/or too supportive of homosexuality. Not only do some of the reasons sound outrageous but to allow books to be pulled from the shelves because they go against someone’s point of view takes away not only the author’s right to express his or her opinions but the reader’s right to read whatever it is he or she wants.

Through the efforts of the American Library Association (ALA), books are no longer being banned. They are however still constantly being challenged- which is the attempt to remove the books from the shelves or school curriculum and restrict people’s access to them. The ALA makes sure that they remain available for everyone.

Books sometimes have a way of reflecting the unsettling parts of society and its people and I think the offensive faults people find in others or in books are just what they’ve been afraid to tackle in their own lives. While we can’t control people’s opinions even if they are hateful and offensive, we can choose to listen to them or not.

This week, take some time to celebrate your freedom to read whatever you want!

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