Woodgrove Celebrates Banned Books Week

Written by Rebecca Faletti

This September marked the most recent iteration of a campaign that has been going on since the 1980s: Banned Books Week, a celebration and awareness campaign about classic books that have had their positions in school curricula and libraries challenged or taken away entirely.

Banned Books Week, promoted by the American Library, Amnesty International, and various other organizations, has a simple creed.  They want to raise awareness of the books which have been challenged in schools and libraries. Often led by parents, these challenges often hinge on complaints of sexually explicit, violent, or illegal behavior being depicted in the books in question. Occasionally, school systems have seen complaints by parents of books which contain LGBT+ characters, or which they believe counter a traditional family structure.

The week stands as a rallying cry for people around the world who want to stand up against censorship. There is encouragement throughout the nation to read a book that has been banned or challenged. The Woodgrove library joined the fight, using both the ALA’s campaign encouraging people to be a #RebelReader and making its own, #WoodgroveReads.

More often than not, books are being challenged rather than banned. As society has moved forward, it is becoming harder and harder to get a books taken off the shelves, and many books have been reinstated from a banned status. Even so, the Banned Books Week label remains.

“I think that the ‘Banned Books’ label is an eye-catcher. It screams for attention,” said Woodgrove librarian Sherry O’Connor. O’Connor has always had a vested interest in Banned Books week, and makes sure she reads all the books the library might bring in to anticipate what a challenge might be.

“Given the contentious climate in this country today, conversations about everything are so important,” she said.