To honor Banned Books Week and bring awareness to reader suppression, Troy University’s library is giving away free books.
The library’s Head of Public Services Rachel Hooper says that the annual event started only a few decades ago in response to challenged or controversial literary works.
“Banned Books Week is a nationwide celebration for libraries that started in the ‘80s,” Hooper said. “It’s just a way to celebrate the freedom to read.
“A lot of countries suppress people’s ability to read whatever they want to. [This event] promotes reading and the ability to choose whatever you read.”
If it were an ordinary year, the library would have activities and games for students to participate in, but events have been limited because of coronavirus restrictions.
“What we typically do is have a banned books giveaway each day of the week,” Hooper said. “Monday through Friday, we’ll give away free banned books in the library.
“In a regular year that didn’t have COVID, we’d do a kickoff with Comicon on a Sunday, and different events like quizzes or matching games within the library. We’d have an art contest and end with a readout event on Thursday. Because of COVID, we couldn’t do any of that, so we’re just giving out books this year.”
Students have numerous books to choose from that are displayed at the front desk of the library in Wallace Hall.
“We have a variety,” Hooper said. “We have ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ and two versions of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’
“We have ‘Lolita,’ ‘The Glass Castle,’ ‘The Golden Compass,’ several of Toni Morrison’s, Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ and ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ — pretty much any book that has anything controversial.”
Students can learn more about Banned Books Week by visiting bannedbooksweek.org or ala.org.
This article was written by Amya Mitchell.