Daily Egyptian

Morris Library hosting Banned Books Week

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Kitt Fresa

Morris Library is hosting Banned Books Week this week to give the campus community a chance to learn about censorship and freedom of expression.

“It’s a week dedicated to highlighting books that have been banned or challenged due to concerns by communities,” said Pam Hackbart-Dean, the director of special collections at the library. “It’s a way to make sure that our freedom of expression can be debated and we make all materials available for everyone.”

From 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, the library will have refreshments and a selfie booth available. A display will feature a variety of banned books which library patrons are encouraged to rent all week, Hackbart-Dean said.

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“I think people are interested just for the debate and the controversy that goes along with some of the books,” she said. “Depending on your views and your background, something that might be seen as obscene or controversial may not be held that way with other people, and we just want to make sure that people have the right to read what they want to read.”

Some of the featured banned books are “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which was challenged by parents in a school district in Connecticut because of homosexuality and glorification of alcohol use and drugs; “I Am Jazz,” which was banned because the story is about a transgender child; and “Snow White,” which was banned in a school in Qatar because it was seen to have indecent illustrations.

Hackbart-Dean said it’s important for everyone, especially young people, to have access to books.

“They broaden your educational experience, make sure that you know all sides of a questions and other concerns,” she said. “They broaden your viewpoint.”

She said she hopes people will come look at the banned book display and be surprised by some of the books that have been deemed inappropriate by various institutions.

“Some of the books you may have read as a child have been banned, from Dr. Seuss and Captain Underpants to books that you read today for your enjoyment,” Hackbart-Dean said. “Discover why they’d be so controversial and learn what bothers you, but be open enough to take in the experience and see how others view literature. What’s comfortable for you may not be for others.”

Staff writer Kitt Fresa can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @kittfresa.

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