Shh! Want to read a banned book?

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The library offers a blind date for Banned Books Week.

By Karla Sanchez Hernandez

Blind Date with a Banned Book is a program the staff of the library will sponsor Sept. 25-28 to call students’ attention to Banned Books Week.

This helps students discover the types of books that have been banned or that people have tried to ban, librarian Leticia Alvarado said Sept. 21.

Banned Books Week 2017 is sponsored by the American Library Association Sept. 24-30.

 “Banned Books Week is specifically having to do with banned books,” she said. “It’s like a lottery. The students come in and pick a paper that has the call number on it. They will get the book, and I will check it out for them.”

Some of the books that have been banned are children’s books such as “Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, she said.

Singapore banned the book in 2014 because it features same-sex relationships, she said.

Other books that have been banned include “ The Jungle” by Rudyard Kipling.  It was banned in East Germany, South Korea and Boston because of the socialist views expressed in the books, she said.

Others include “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. It was banned in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) for anti-communist material and banned in the United States for communist material.

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess was banned in 1976 from a high school classroom in Westport, Mass. It was also removed in 1977 from two Anniston, Ala., high school libraries because of objectionable language.

Alvarado said this event is important “to hopefully encourage people to come to the library and initially check out books.

“Some professors assign reading a banned book to students for extra credit,” she said. “This also promotes the library a little bit.”

The number of participation has increased since the program started in 2013.

 “Initially the first time we checked out 30 to 40 books,” she said. “I got a specific list of banned books, but I also went to the library website and found more books that have been banned that we had. The turnout has increased in the past few years.”

 “Last year we checked out 78 books,” she said.

This year the library staff has included 68 books so participation is on a first-come, first-served basis,” she said

Students have become more aware of having the freedom to read what they like, she said.

“They’re free to come in and check out whatever they want anyway,” she said. “People’s curiosity makes them want to participate.

“We’ve had not only students, we’ve had staff come in and check out items. I’ve had one staff member that actually got encouraged to start reading books by the same author because they enjoyed what they read. It kind of branches out.”

Blind Date with a Banned Book will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on the third floor of Moody Learning Center.

For information, call 210-486-0561.


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