One of the major goals of all libraries is to promote the freedom to read, regardless of restrictions. Many are combating the power of censorship for National Banned Books Week.
Banned Books Week is being held Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 and highlights the value of free and open access to information.
The week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
This year, Collin College is hosting their fourth annual Banned Books Week celebration.
The event is free and open to the public and begins at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the Preston Ridge Conference Center, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco.
Event details include trivia games, listening to students and faculty members read excerpts from their favorite banned or challenged books, enjoying refreshments and winning prizes at this fun and interactive event.
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship, according to the American Library Association website.
Many library patrons are surprised by books that have been banned or challenged.
Some surprises include The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (because it was seen as negatively portraying the forestry industry) as well as classics such as Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, The Great Gatsby and many others.
Over the past decade, 5,099 challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. There have been 1,577 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material, 1,291 challenges due to “offensive language,” 989 challenges due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group,” 619 challenged due to “violence” and 361 challenges due to “homosexuality.”
It is said that 85 percent of challenges go unreported and receive no media attention, according to the ALA.