Banned Books Week celebrates freedom to read

Image courtesy of the American Library Association,

In 2017, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials.

From books on the shelves of school libraries to classroom curriculum, challenges are being made to remove books from the hands of readers.

Banned books range from classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee to contemporary young adult novels like “Looking for Alaska” by John Green and children’s books like “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss.

Books are banned or challenged for their content and ideology. Many books on the American Library Association’s Annual top ten lists are there because of profanity, sexually explicit content or LGBTQ themes.

Because of continual attempts to censor literary material, Banned Books Week has been celebrated annually since 1982. Banned Books Week 2018 runs from Sunday, Sept. 23 to Saturday, Sept. 29.

According to the Banned Books Week website, “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.”

The 2018 theme is “Banning Books Silences Stories” to prompt people to speak out against the tide of censorship.

Organizations across campus will be celebrating Banned Books Week. Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society and the department of English are tabling in the Kansas State Student Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Additionally, the two groups are partnering with 91.9 KSDB to read from banned books and discuss them during the radio station’s open mic period from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. every day of the week.

The Collegian will also be publishing a series of reviews of banned books during the week.

I'm Macy Davis a former Collegian culture editor and a 2019 graduate in English. When I was not reading and writing (both for class and for fun), I was also a member of the nationally ranked K-State speech team.