Banned Books Week

09.19.2014

When my daughter was three or four, I asked her if a genie gave her one wish, what would that wish be. She thought intently for some time before answering, “Books...lots and lots of books”. So it was no surprise a decade later when she asked me, “Is it dumb to not want to finish the last pages of the book because then you will be sad knowing the whole book series will be finished, like, FOREVER?”

The series with which she had such a connection has been on the banned book list for a number of years. Banned Books Week (Sept 21-27) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. We, as librarians, library staff and patrons support that freedom, and reject censorship efforts targeting removal or restricting access to specific books. At Roesch Library, this week we will proudly display books from our collection that have been challenged by having a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

Among the books on a list of top novels ever written that have been challenged or banned over the years are, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins;"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald; "The Catcher in the Rye," J.D. Salinger, "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck; "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee; Alice Walker's "The Color Purple," “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling, "Beloved" and "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison; "The Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm," John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" and "The Sun Also Rises," Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," and Zora Neale Hurston's, "Their Eyes Were Watching God."

For the last four years, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie has made the list. This November, Sherman Alexie will be speaking on the UD campus with the Perspectives on Peace series.
Please browse the challenged books display in the lobby, and exercise your freedom to read by checking one out.

-Elizabeth Moore Jacobs, OhioLink/Interlibrary Loan Specialist

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