Library highlights Banned Books Week

Rachel Goodwin


Lilly Casolaro

News Editor

Banned Books Week, taking place this week on Troy’s campus at the library, focuses on and exposes literature that has been censored due to content being deemed “inappropriate.”

According to the American Library Association, “Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read” and “highlighting the value of free and open access to information.”

The theme for this week’s events is “Words Have Power,” according to Rachel Hooper, a business reference librarian.

The library has already incorporated this theme by hosting the Comic Con on Sunday, Sept. 24, where students could view comic books and art, play board games and learn more about banned books.

Nola Aycock, a junior interpreter training program major from Eutaeu, said she believes certain content should not be banned just because it is deemed inappropriate.

Aycock said that if every person could have an opinion, then “there would be no books to read at all.”

Throughout the week, the library will be giving away free banned books that are diverse to intrigue all ages and all book lovers, according to Hooper.

Sean Rivera, a freshman history major from Spanish Fort, said that this week is all about free expression and that it is very important to him.

“The idea of anti-censorship is something I have had strong opinions about for a while, and it should be recognized,” Rivera said.

According to the American Library Association’s website, “often challenges (to book content) are motivated by a desire to protect children from ‘inappropriate’ sexual content or ‘offensive’ language.”

The top three reasons cited for challenging materials, according to the Office of Intellectual Freedom, were material was considered to be “sexually explicit,” contained “offensive language” and was “unsuited to any age group.”

Some books that have been banned or challenged by school systems include, but are not limited to: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by Kathryn Harper, and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

The library will also hold a Read-Out Event on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 1-2:30 p.m., where staff members will speak about the importance of the books that are banned and what the books mean to them.

Students from Principles of Digital Design, taught by Beverly Leach, a lecturer of art and design, were tasked with creating a poster based on a popular banned book that captured the main story line and illustrated why the book was banned.

These posters have been on display throughout the week and the student winners were chosen and selected by the library staff.

In first place is Hsin-Hsuan Wu, a sophomore graphic design major from Taiwan, for her poster about “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky; second place is Kendall Newton, a junior graphic design major from Dothan, on her poster about “The Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman; third place is Taylor Lowe, a senior graphic design major from Cottonwood, about her poster about “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain.

These students will be recognized during the Read-Out event for their achievements.

There will be door prizes and a grand prize given out at this event as well. All entries from throughout the week’s events will be drawn on Thursday.

Hooper hopes this week will raise awareness about freedom that many Americans take for granted.

“[This] week represents the freedom to read…I hope this week raises awareness,” Hooper said.

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