Bierce participates in banned books week

UA’s main library celebrates restricted authors and novels.

By Spencer Skolnick, News Writer

This week, Bierce Library is participating in the nationwide event known as “Banned Books Week,” celebrating the novels that many schools and libraries ban from being on the shelves on any normal day.

The university exhibit displays authors and their work, giving recognition to those who discuss sensitive and controversial topics. These displays include presentations the committee creates and “read-outs,” where student volunteers read excerpts of the banned books.

Those interested in learning more about the restricted authors and their writing have a chance to flock to the library during this week.

“I think it’s great. This shows the darker side of humanity that normally isn’t in a lot of schools’ libraries,” said Taylor Marshall, a third-year History major.

The American Library Association (ALA) defines the purpose of banned book programs as “promot[ing] the freedom to choose or express one’s opinions even if [it] might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.” The committee of Akron faculty members embrace this idea, illustrating the importance of allowing these books in schools.

Ricki Ellinger, a third-year Fashion Merchandising major, saw this event as an opportunity to form an opinion on any given book. “[This week] allows us to see why the books are banned so we can form opinions on them ourselves,” Ellinger said.

Books focusing on controversial topics are more likely to be restricted or banned to limit access to them. Hoping to encourage students to embrace the ALA banned books motto, “celebrate the freedom to read,” the university participates in educating students on understanding the harm of censorship.

“To ban a book because it’s controversial is a ridiculous concept when kids are living through the heavy and controversial things that banned books are about,” said DeAnna Sheffler, a third-year English education major.

Many schools and libraries around the country are involved in ALA’s Banned Books Week to raise awareness of this suppression, arguing that restricted books and authors deserve attention.

Students can hear excerpts from “Lolita,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” and other books banned for their controversial subject matters at Bierce Library on Sept. 24 from noon to 1 p.m.