In honor of national Banned Books Week (Sept. 22-28), Globe University-Appleton Campus Librarian Michelle Karbon feels especially obligated to inform you of some of the 11,300 books you shouldn’t read—or rather should read in order to celebrate the freedom we have to read!
Since 1982, the first year that celebrated Banned Books Week, more than 11,300 books have been challenged to be kept out of our libraries, according to bannedbooksweek.org. Celebrations of Banned Books Week across the nation seek to increase awareness of censorship issues by mounting displays of challenged books.
Some of the titles that have been challenged or banned may or may not come as a surprise to you. Books such as “Harry Potter”, “James and the Giant Peach”, “Lord of the Rings”, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” were all challenged for various reasons. But why? According to the American Library Association, here are the top three reasons books are challenged, as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:
- the material was considered to be “sexually explicit”
- the material contained “offensive language”
- the material was “unsuited to any age group”.
Why should we celebrate all of these books that have been challenged, or even banned from our libraries?
“Students should be aware that censorship still happens even today,” shares Campus Librarian, Michelle Karbon. “There are still many books that are challenged in school systems and public libraries. Banned Books Week helps celebrate our freedom to read and shut out censorship because of questionable material. Many books [that have been] banned or challenged in the past were due to differing beliefs and views. While everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, these few were (and are) trying to censor information for others because of their own beliefs,” Karbon continued.
When asked, Karbon states her favorite Banned Book is “The Great Gatsby.” “It was challenged as recently as the late 80s because of language and sexual references, which are quite tame in today’s standards,” she mentioned.
Globe University-Appleton is proud to be a part of a national celebration that seeks to celebrate the many freedoms we have, including the freedom to read.