Phoenix libraries celebrated banned books week Sept. 22-28, sharing their favorite challenged books and informing the public about censorship in libraries and schools.
Most of the celebrations were done through social media mainly on facebook. Mesa’s Public Library facebook page featured instagramed mug shots of people holding their favorite challenged book.
Banned Books Week page on facebook shared an article from Cincinnati.com about author Toni Morrison speaking out about remarks from the president to the Ohio School Board who called The Bluest Eye pornographic.
Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist whose novels consistently frequent the top 100 list of banned books.
According to American Library Association, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. “It is an annual event that highlights the value of free and open access to information.”
Challenges due to sexually explicit material, offensive language, violence and homosexuality are reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
According to ALA’s website the most challenged book in 2012 was the Captain Underpants series for offensive language and being unsuited for age group.
Captain Underpants is a children’s novel series about two fourth graders who accidentally turn their favorite comic book superhero, Captain Underpants into a real person.
Books have always been challenged as they should always be. Books are what teach people to think and challenge everything but Banned Books Week is meant to ensure access for all and encourage libraries and schools to advocate for freedom of speech and freedom to read.
Mesa Public Library shared a quote on their facebook page from George R.R. Martin: “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”