Freedom to Read: Banned Books Week

By Jaedyn Griddine, Shelby Wilder, and Hailey Hunt, Library Leaders
Though we may not always realize it, libraries are havens for intellectual freedom. They are safe spaces where we can comfortably seek endless amounts of knowledge, whether that be through reading, engaging in conversations with friends or surfing the web. Above all, freedom is paramount to a library’s success. That’s why, every year, libraries across the United States take part in Banned Book Week, where we showcase books that have been frequently challenged or banned throughout history. This year’s theme was “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.” We chose to feature books from the American Library Association’s list of the most frequently banned and challenged books of the past decade (2010-2019). These books were banned for a variety of reasons, some of which being: featuring anti-police content, profanity, sexually explicit content and anti-family content. While these books have themes that may be unsettling to readers, their messages are often insightful, and censoring them limits our ability to expand our worldview and learn vital lessons from others’ experiences. Below you’ll find a list of the books we featured:
  • Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Saga by Brian Vaughan
Students enjoying the display in the library nook.