Banned Books Week draws attention to issue of censorship
In an effort to draw attention to the problem of censorship, libraries and schools around the country host a Banned Books Week every year. This year, Banned Books Week is from Sunday, Sept. 30 through Saturday, Oct. 6.
“I think it’s important that we continue to communicate with everybody that our freedom to read is a right we should appreciate,” media center specialist Andy Shelly said.
Books can be challenged for numerous different reasons. Sexually explicit material or offensive language are a few reasons.
“One of the top reasons that books are banned is that they’re unsuitable for a certain age group,” Shelly said.
This event began in 1982 as a response to a large amount of books banned from libraries. Since then, over 11,300 books have been challenged.
“There are so many countries that restrict what people can read,” Shelly said. “It’s just a yearly reminder that students have freedoms.”
Mill Valley has never banned a book from the library shelves. Shelly believes censoring books hinders the rights of students.
“[Banning books] takes away a student’s freedom of choice,” Shelly said. “I think it is a very personal decision.”
Harry Potter, The Giver, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are among common books that have been challenged or banned from libraries.
“A lot of kids that walk by can’t believe the books they see in the display,” Shelly said.
Senior Marisol Guerrero believes that schools shouldn’t sensor books.
“I think students should have freedom,” Guerrero said. “They should be able to read anything they want.”
Shelly believes students’ freedom as readers is important.
“I think it’s a big concern that someone else’s opinion determines what you’re exposed to,” Shelly said. “Everyone should have the freedom to choose what they read.”