Happy Banned Books Week!!
Wondering why libraries celebrate banned books week? It’s a celebration of the first amendment right to access information, and a celebration for public libraries’ protection and right, as public institutions, to keep books available for people who want access to them.
The American Library Association has celebrated Banned Books Week since 1982 after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that students’ First Amendment Rights were violated when Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut was removed from school libraries in the Island Trees School District. A previous case seen by the supreme court in 1965 was similarly ruled, stating “there is a First Amendment right to receive information; the right to receive information is a corollary to the right to speak.”
Despite the ruling, each year parents across the country submit official complaints to have books removed from school libraries and reading lists; siting profanity, religious viewpoints, sexually explicit content, and materials too candidly portray injustices and inequality experienced by people of color. In 2018, the most commonly used complaints were because books contained LGBTQIA+ content.
Censorship of the written word still happens but we in the FSU Pop Lit Committee welcome you to celebrate banned books week by perusing our books for those that have censured or that have been formally complained of in the past.
Check out the American Library Association’s website here for more information on banned books week, and look here to see the Top 10 banned books each year.