Celebrating Banned Books Week at Watha T.

Oct. 1 through Oct. 6

Banned Books Week LogoCan you guess which popular picture book once sparked demands that it be removed from library shelves because it might “lay the foundation for future use of pornography”?  Do you know which children's classics have been challenged for promoting Communist ideas or desensitizing children “to crime related to witchcraft”?

During the first week of October, these books and others like them at Watha T. Daniel will be wrapped in caution tape. On your next visit to the library, see if you can spot one of these “banned books." Pick the book off the shelf. Is it a title you know? Is it a book that may have sparked your imagination, made you laugh or cry or think about something in a different light? Note that the book you are holding in your hands has been accused by someone of containing ideas so dangerous, subversive, or objectionable that the text should be hidden from the impressionable eyes of American youth.

To learn why your book was challenged, take a peek at the accompanying bookmark. Do the objections surprise you? American Library Association’s “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000”  includes such classic titles as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  Can you find a book on this list that influenced you or informed part of the person you are today? During Banned Books Week, Watha T. Daniel Neighborhood Library would like to invite you to honor the stories you love, take a stand against censorship and celebrate your freedom to read!    

--Elaine Pelton