By: Dylan Evans
Censorship in books has existed as long as books themselves. Books and literature bring with them unique lines of thought, pushing the audience to reconsider certain perspectives, societal standards, and norms.
That is what this year’s Banned Books Week wishes to display with the theme, “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” This year’s Banned Books Week takes place on September 26-October 2.
Banned Books Week is an annual event hosted by the American Language Association (ALA), with the goal of uniting booksellers, readers, and writers with the freedom of expression in writing. The event began celebration after the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, when the Supreme Court stated that officials could not ban books from libraries based simply upon their content or ideas.
The name may be misleading, but the event is to push against the banning of books, not simply celebrating the books that have been or are currently banned in different school districts and counties.
According to the ALA, “While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.”
Even though censorship is still prevalent in books, even today, the week is meant to encourage readers and writers to stand for expression and freedom of speech across the nation.
This still opens the question of why books are still being banned, and how do educators feel about the banning of certain books?
For a current example of the mass banning of books, check the September print edition of the Thielensian.