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K-State Today

October 2, 2023

'Let Freedom Read': Celebrate Banned Books Week

Submitted by Ashley Nietfeld

Join K-State Libraries in recognizing Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. It is coordinated by the American Library Association and highlights the value of free and open access to information. This year's theme is "Let Freedom Read."

Last year saw the highest number of censorship demands on library books and resources since the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom began compiling the data. A total of 1,269 attempts were made on 2,571 unique titles, nearly double the number of attempts made the previous year. The number of censorship demands has continued to increase in 2023, with 695 attempts made on 1,915 unique titles between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31.

This week's events include:

  • Banned book read-a-loud, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Oct. 2-6 on the second floor of Hale Library. Join a celebration of the freedom to read. Students, faculty and staff are invited to read a selection from their favorite banned book or just come and listen to others.
  • Banned Books Week panel discussion, 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, in Hale Library, Room 181. Come join Philip Nel, university distinguished professor of English, Maggie Steuer and Jon Olson, both graduate students in English, and others for "First, They Banned the Books. What's Next?," a discussion about banned books, censorship and the freedom to read. The panel will be moderated by Dan Ireton, associate professor and academic services librarian for K-State Libraries.
  • Banned books displays. Visit one of the two displays on banned books in the Morris Family Multicultural Student Center and on the second floor of Hale Library. The displays will be up all week.

All events are free and open to the public. Banned Books Week at K-State is sponsored by the English department, K-State Libraries, Sigma Tau Delta and the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community student organization. If you have any questions, please contact Ireton.

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