LaGrange Memorial Library Celebrates Banned Book Week

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2022

It’s Banned Books Week at the LaGrange Memorial Library. Banned Books Week (Sept. 18 – 24, 2022) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to consume varying types of literature. Typically held during the last week of September, the event spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.

“A public library has always been a place where we accept all points of view and all ideas. We’re a little different from the school library or other places of education, where they serve in place of the parents,” Regional Director of Troup-Harris Library System, Keith Schuermann said.  “Because of that, we’re blessed to be able to have many different points of views. If you don’t find something that may trigger you or challenge your own beliefs in some way in the public library, then we’re not doing our coalition development as holistic of a manner as we need to.

Book banning is when an individual, organization, school, library board or government challenges or tries to get a book removed from public access. In most instances, organizations that campaigns to “ban” a book are concerned that materials in the books are harmful to society. They believe that by removing those books can help protect children and restore what is believed to be lost moral values.”

This week-long event seeks to bring together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even ones others may consider to be unpopular or immoral.

Under the First Amendment in the United States Constitution, each citizen has the right to read, view, listen to, and disseminate constitutionally protected ideas, even if someone finds those ideas offensive.

Some books that have been historically and modernly banned are: “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, “1984” by George Orwell and “Looking for Alaska” by John Green.

“This is a chance to celebrate our freedom to read, which is really honestly what the public library should be all about, — celebrating reading without judgment,” Schuermann said.