Banned Book Week : A Librarian’s PerspectiveAn interview with school librarian, Ms. Winter, regarding Banned Book Week.
By: Samantha Villella , Sibley Scribe
Another new member of the staff is IMC Coordinator / librarian Bethany Winter. Samantha Villella talked with her about Banned Book Week. Here is that interview.
Samantha Villella : What is Banned Book Week about?
Bethany Winter: Banned Book Week is about reintroducing and informing readers and nonreaders about certain books that have been banned from public libraries and schools. Banned Book Week gets out to others that certain rights that we have are taken away from us when books are banned from public places so that children and young adults cannot read them. A lot of people think that banning books goes against our first amendment because it is the suppression of expression by government organizations. The first amendment grants our freedoms of religion and expression. Banning books, therefore, goes against our first amendment because books are considered a form of expression. With Banned Book Week, however, children and young adults are given the opportunity to read those books that are normally unavailable to them for free at a public place.
SV: What are some reasons why a book might be banned?
BW: Books are banned for containing controversial subjects like sexuality, violence, and profanity. Often times they are banned for containing too much bullying or separation of ethnic groups. Books can be banned by educational organizations or even groups of parents who speak out against a particular book.
SV: What are some examples of banned books?
BW: The Hunger Games, A Child Called It, Twilight, Harry Potter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Giver, Goosebumps, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and many, many more.
SV: When did Banned Book Week start? Who started it? Is it just our school who participates in it?
BW: Banned Book Week started in the 1980s by the American Library Association. It goes from September 24th to October 1st every year. Libraries and schools everywhere across the country celebrate it in order to enlighten readers and to support the authors who have books that are banned.
SV: What is your opinion on banning books?
BW: I think that kids should be allowed to read questionable material so they know about certain issues that have happened in history’s past and issues that come up in everyday life. These issues, which kids should know about and will inevitably know in the future, are seen in most banned books and taking that away from students, who are still developing their own identities and morals, further prevents their knowledge of literature and shapes how they choose to look at the world. That is why Banned Book Week can be so crucial - it highlights issues that are not normally addressed. ,
SV: How does it contribute to our school and students having Banned Book Week?
BW: I think it encourages reading and the idea of reading a banned book intrigues students. The yellow caution tape that we put on the display cases in the entrance to the library also has caused some curiosity in students to check out what Banned book Week is. We want kids to be excited about reading and I think that showcasing books that in which are banned raises some excitement into reading because it gives the sense that you are doing something “bad” but you are being allowed to do it.
SV: Do you have any other comments or thoughts about Banned Books?
BW: I think that a lot of people’s first reaction to reading is that it is boring and that they probably would not chose to read in their free time if they had the choice. But Banned Book Week gets people interested in reading in a way that is unique. It gives others the opportunity to read amazing stories that sometimes don’t get the credit that they deserve. Reading is such a good and healthy way to stimulate your mind and your imagination. Banned Book Week definitely helps others understand their world around them and it opens their eyes to realities they have never thought about.