Words Have Power: Banned Book Week September 24-30, 2017

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C.G. Okelly library will have a book cart packed with different banned books from (even classic novels) for you to checkout information to read in the atrium area next to the staircase. Make sure to stop by during Banned Books week!

Book banning/challenges have been occurring in the United States and around the world since man has been documenting her/his thoughts on paper.  As humans our taste in reading materials differ, just like our taste in foods, smell and clothing.  It is in my opinion those differences should be celebrated not suppressed.  Yet year after year individuals seek to have the thoughts and writings of others removed from our libraries and stores.   These occurrences make decisions for us as readers and take away our rights as individuals.

Over 300 books are challenged and/or banned around the world every year.  Many of these books have become classics, including Beloved by Toni Morrison, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelo, The Hobbit by Tolkien, The Koran, The Bible and many children’s books including Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

I must admit as an avid reader I do not find some writings to my taste.  But I would never decide for you as a reader what you can or cannot read, that is your decision not mine.  Making judgments for you and me is dictatorship, it insults my intelligence and I’m not alone in this thought.

In 1982 the American Library Association (ALA) responded to book censorship by proclaiming the last week of September to be Banned Book Week.  Every year since, librarians, authors, publishers and others concerned about individuals and governments infringing on our first amendment, stand up and speak out against book suppression.

This years Banned Book theme is, Words Have Power, Read A Banned Book.   It seems to me that these words can be applied to today’s climate toward our fellow human family, not just in an author’s written words but in our everyday existence.  This year’s theme gives us all the more reason to stand up and be heard.  Our Words Have Power, defend and celebrate our freedom to read, defend and celebrate our differences.

Find out more about Banned Books: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks

Author: Janet Malliett

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