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It’s hard to believe some people find classic books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Holy Bible to be in bad taste. But believe it or not, these books have been banned at some point in time. That’s why St. Catharine College will hold their Fifth Annual Banned Books Week Read-Out Oct. 2-4.
“Banned Books Week always takes place during the last week of September,” said Laura Satterly, SCC’s Instructor of Foundational English. “The purpose is to celebrate the freedom to read and to acknowledge the importance of the First Amendment while drawing attention to the harmful effects of censorship.”
During the event, students, faculty, staff and community members will have a chance to read passages from their favorite banned or challenged books. There will also be a cookout on Oct. 2nd at 11 a.m. on the Greens beside Lourdes Hall. The public is invited to attend and participate in all Banned Books Week activities.
According to the Web site of the American Library Association, “The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged-and possibly banned or restricted-if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.”
The way a book becomes “banned” is up to each reader. If people decide they don’t like a particular book, they can complain to their library and fill out a form. A majority of the time, the protest is rejected. The ALA keeps a record of all complaints that are filed.
Some of the most popular and recent entries on the Banned Books list include all books in the Harry Potter series and books that have been declared national treasures and required reading in most cases. The most common reasons books are banned is due to content that contains sex, profanity, and racism. Even The Bible cannot escape the wrath of some critics who cite the book’s inclusion in school libraries as a violation of separation between church and state.
“This year, we were fortunate to have been awarded one of eight Freedom to Read Foundation grants via the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund in the amount of $1,000,” added Satterly. “In addition, several entities around campus, including Campus Culture Committee, and Student Services for Resident Life, have partnered to fund the BBW program at SCC this year along with our ALA grant.”
If you would like to participate in Banned Books Week, contact Laura Satterly at (859) 336-5082, ext. 1343 or email@example.com.