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Banned book week teaches censorship dangers

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Hannah Stewart, staff writer

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What do “Where’s Waldo,” “Captain Underpants” and “The Perks of Being a WallFlower” all have in common? They were all banned.
Every year the American Library Association promotes the uncensored reading of any book through the dedication of one week to books which some sought to ban. This year’s Banned Book Week took place Sept. 24-30.
The banning of books allows a group of individuals to control materials others read. It is the ALA’s belief that banning books, even with good intentions, is an infringement on First Amendment rights, according to the ALA website.
A book can be banned for several reasons; however, according to the ALA, banning is never appropriate. This belief spawns from the idea that art, no matter the interpretation, is an important part of understanding the human psyche. Censorship is done under the guise of protecting the innocent from inappropriate material. ALA wants to ensure neither a great work of literature nor a simple mass-media paperback is taken out of the hands of the reader.

Every year, Banned Book Week hosts several opportunities for involvement by those interested in protecting their First Amendment right. These opportunities include events hosted by local libraries, helping people set up their own events and promoting the education of fighting the banning of books.

Book Week event Sept. 27-29. “This week challenges people to read books that other individuals are refusing to read and comprehend,” said Courtney Post, sophomore English education major and leader of the class project.The class hopes to have students read banned books and make their own judgments on the subject matter.
The ALA and Columbia College use Banned Book Week as an opportunity to educate the community on the impact censorship has on society. The ALA wants readers to see why these books are not hazardous material; rather they are a part of the tapestry of human intelligence.

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Banned book week teaches censorship dangers