Banned Books Week is in full swing at the Troy University Library, featuring book giveaways and a celebration of controversial books.
“Personally, I am very passionate about Banned Books Week and strongly against censorship,” said Kelly Wilson, the social sciences and government documents librarian, who is heading up the event. “Banned Books Week is a celebration of the freedom to read whatever you wish without penalty or prejudice.
“This week is highly important because it gives librarians the opportunity to educate students on the problems with censorship and why people try to ban books or have them removed from schools and libraries.”
Schools ban books for a variety of reasons; for books like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the presence of racist language has led to bans, but many young adult books focusing on LGBT issues also end up being restricted.
“According to the American Library Association, in 2018, the most frequent reasons why books were challenged or banned were for sexuality and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ topics, religious viewpoint, racism, and teen suicide,” Wilson said.
“You frequently have people wanting to ban those because they don’t think children should be exposed to that,” said Chris Shaffer, the dean of Library Services. “Don’t read it if you don’t want to.”
A cart with book giveaways can be found in the library. More books are added every morning and afternoon. There are no set times for giveaways, but the last day for free books is on Sept. 28.
Books such as “Looking for Alaska,” “The Hate U Give,” “Dead Poets Society” and more are featured as giveaways.