Banned Books Week


Ava Kirkpatrick

During the week of September 27th through October 1st, the library celebrates Banned Books Week, where the entirety of the book community supports the freedom to seek and express ideas.
This event was launched in 1982 after an increase of books were being challenged in schools, bookstores, and libraries. This year, the school Librarian Sarah Alvarado, decided to take initiative of this campaign, and promote the cause of Banned Books Week.
“I feel like the book community wants to promote the freedom to share information. There is this belief that information and stories should not be shared, so it is our job as the book community to let people know the reason why it has been happening so they can do the part they need to so books won’t be pulled off shelves” said Alvarado.
According to the American Library Association (ALA), this year’s Banned Books Week aims to draw attention to the power of stories to unify and stop the divisiveness of censorship. The association has a campaign specifically for the banishment of books and free expression.
“ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is charged with implementing the intellectual freedom policies of the American Library Association through educating librarians and the public about the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights” stated by the ALA Foundation.
Alvarado has been advocating for Banned Books Week to stop division in the community and putting limitations on freedom of expression. Books have been a big part of Alvarado’s life, and she wants the best for others as they try to read books on their own.
“I believe that you could find everything you need in a book, escape, solace, friends, I feel like the characters are my friend so I feel like it isn’t right to silence those kinds of stories and everyone has a right to read about it” said Alvarado.
Many authors have faced criticism in their books, and many have been challenged greatly, the author of the story “The House of Spirit” Isabel Allende has faced criticism from parents that said her book should be taken out of schools because of ‘torture’ and ‘violence’ in some scenes. Allende plans on fighting back and keeping her book available to readers.
“Since today TV series, movies, videogames and comics exploit sex and violence, including torture and rape, as forms of entertainment, I don’t think that young adults will be particularly offended by the strong scenes from The House of the Spirits, which are always part of the historical and political content of the novel” said Allende.
Alvarado hopes that students will be willing to learn more about Banned Books Week at RayPec and take initiative to this cause. Next year, she wants to promote more for this event and make known about books being challenged all over America and even the world.
“I want to let people know because I don’t know how many students know about books being banned. So my end goal is to make students aware and curious about this. They need to know that these things are happening and that books can even be banned” said Alvarado.
Banned Books Week has promoted the books that have been illegal in the past and have fought against those who want to challenge and ban books. The fight against free and open information hasn’t stopped for the library community as they continue to create better accessibility to the people.