By Sean Kranske, Contributing Writer
The last week of September is considered “Banned Books Week,” which aims to celebrate books that have been challenged or banned and celebrate freedom of speech while bringing awareness to the negative impacts of censorship. From Sept. 24 to the 30, West Liberty University participated in the event.
The books highlighted during banned book week are often books that have had some sort of impact in the literary world. This includes extremely popular novels such as J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
There are a multitude of reasons why books may be challenged or banned. Some books may be challenged for reasons ranging from the use of obscene language to accusations of spreading propaganda.
To celebrate the week, a ‘Blind Date’ event was held in the Elbin Library.
Reference and Technology Librarian Kathryn Zane explained, “We had a Blind Date event where we wrapped banned books in paper and wrote two reasons why the book was banned on the cover. We covered twenty-five books. We believe this event to have been a great success.”
Although Banned Books Week is now over, it is not too late to start reading books that often find themselves challenged for one reason or another. Anybody who is interested in reading controversial books can check them out in the Elbin Library here on campus.
Zayne said, “If people are interested in reading banned books, they can come talk to a librarian, and we’ll hook them up with the banning of their choice.”
Banned books are usually thought of as older novels that are now taught in high schools across the country, but many books have been and are continuing to be challenged. This includes many popular books that some may not even realize are being challenged such as, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green and “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
For more information, visit the Elbin Library or check out the Banned Books Week’s website.
Image by Jalyn Bolyard