Banned Books Week Kicks off next week


With just over 300 book challenged across the nation this last year, the 33rd annual Banned Books Week is right around the corner.

Briggs Library has begun its final preparations for the event which is set to take place next week, kicking off on Sept. 27 and going through Oct. 4.

The library hopes to promote the importance of reading and raise awareness about how censorship still exists in the country. Different activities are to be set up at the library including a display of some of the most challenged books and the opportunity to take a picture with a banned book.

“Banned Books Week offers a national focus to improve the freedom to read,” said Emmeline Elliott, the Briggs Library operations manager. “It also creates awareness of the current censorship issues that still exist to this day.”

The library hopes its efforts will find its way onto social media, where participants will hopefully be willing to share their picture with a banned book along with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #BriggsLibrary.

Banned Books Week promotes reading and raises awareness of censorship issues, but also educates people about the history of books and the importance of the freedom to write and read.

“Banned Books Week is about offering the opportunity to teach people about the hardships that authors and readers had to go through,” said Andrea Boglic, a student assistant at Briggs Library. “A lot of people don’t realize that many of the most challenged books have background stories to them and, in most cases, these stories are almost as important as the book itself.”

Considering that the most dominant themes of challenged books include sexually explicit content, offensive language and violence, it’s not surprising that the same books make the list of challenged books on a yearly basis. These books include “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” “Saga” and “And Tango Makes Three.”

Historically, many banned books make people feel uncomfortable. Others do not mind them. SDSU students have different opinions about controversial books and their content.

“I think that any person, any age, has the right to read whatever they choose to read regardless of the content,” said Matt Jesperson, a junior history student. “My parents wouldn’t agree with me, especially when it comes to sexually explicit content, but I think it’s important for children to be educated and to read about it at an early age.”

Elif Gabb, a sophomore English student, believes freedom to write is important to understand other people’s perspective and opinions.

“I don’t agree with everything I read and I think that that is a natural thing,” said Elif Gabb, a sophomore English student. “What is important is that we accept other people’s opinions and understand the importance of a different perspective.”