Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event held during the last week of September. Banned Books Week, September 24 through October 1, highlights the benefits of free and open access to information. Its purpose is to draw attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States.
During Banned Books Week, the Solon Public Library will have a display of classics, young adult and children’s books that have either been banned or challenged. Along with the display, a 10-page listing of new additions to the banned/challenged book list and why they were added to the list has been prepared for patrons. “It’s interesting to see what titles have been included in the newly updated banned book list,” commented Library Director Kris Brown. For example, “Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich is a recent addition of a book that was challenged. This nonfiction book was challenged in a Pennsylvania school district and one of the reasons listed was because some parents felt it promoted “socialist ideas.” It is a book about how difficult it is to live while working at jobs that only pay minimum wage.
Also, bookmarks that list books that have been banned through the ages will be available. The listed books have all been banned at one time or another on social grounds. Listed are familiar titles including, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl,” “The Bible” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” just to name a few.
Librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.