During Banned Books Week. libraries, schools, and literary organizations use the time to get people looking at banned books and seeing how important it is to have free access to all viewpoints.  It can actually be fun to show people the titles that have been banned in different times and places, and make those titles available.

Across the world, the campaign highlights the predicament of writers who face persecution and even death for their writings, and readers for circulating and reading material that is considered objectionable in some locations.

Looking at Banned Books

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The fun of Banned Books Week was the focus at Leath Memorial Library.

Library supervisor Adrienne Williams stood before a rolling library unit packed with books that have been deemed so controversial as to be “banned or even challenged,” she said.

The display, complete with construction paper cut into the shapes of writhing and sky-striving flames, is bound with thick (plastic) chains. The large sign on its front is made of black construction paper with bold red die-cut letters labeling the banned books, and there are sentence strips on the side of the cart listing “racial slurs, profanity and sexuality” as some of the reasons the ne’er-do-well volumes wound up in literary lockdown.

“People can’t believe some of the books that make this list,” Williams said. “Different things offend different people for various reasons.”

Library patron Chris Clark was curious about the books on the foreboding-looking shelf as he cradled a hard-bound copy of Ralph Ellison’s classic “Invisible Man,” an 1852 novel once banned from Randolph County Schools after a parental complaint brought it to a vote.

Looking at Banned Books

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According to an Asheboro Courier-Tribune article dated Sept. 16, 2013, the mother of an 11th-grader submitted a request for reconsideration of instructional media form “which detailed, in a 12-page supplemental document, her reasons for the book’s removal.”

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