On September 18-24, 2022, the libraries of Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties will join libraries across America in celebrating Banned Books Week to raise awareness and support the freedom to seek and express information. This year’s national theme is ‘Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.’
Over the years, challenged books might range from children’s picture books to the Bible to fiction or nonfiction for all age ranges. The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list each year of books and items that were challenged across the country. The list of challenged books for 2021, is posted at https://bannedbooksweek.org/about/
Banned Books Week began in 1982 as a response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. It spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It 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.
Books and other items featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restricted access in libraries and schools, somewhere in the US. By raising public awareness on efforts across the country to restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers.
For more information about libraries and the freedom to read, please visit www.fontanalib.org or visit the Macon County Public Library at 149 Siler Farm Road in Franklin.