Banned Books Week, September 23-29, is an annual advocacy event by the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom. It celebrates our freedom to read by promoting books that have been challenged for their content.
To celebrate at Graham Library, we looked through our own collection and compared our holdings to some of the lists of challenged works. We offered some challenged material for our patrons to read, but here’s the catch – it was a blind date!
We wrapped each book in brown paper and interested patrons could select a book from the cart (without unwrapping it) and check it out. Each book contained a note indicating why the book was challenged to give its reader both a little bit of context and also some food for thought while they read it.
This was a new initiative at Graham, so we had no idea what to expect. The display piqued the curiosity of many patrons as they passed through the library, and our banned books were checked out much faster than we anticipated. After only a few days, we had to revisit the lists and try to find some additional books to add! Luckily, there were a few more challenged titles hiding in the stacks and we were able to keep the cart stocked just in time for Banned Books Week to come to an end.
We would like to thank all of our patrons who participated by checking out a banned book. If you had a blind date with one of our books, we hope you enjoyed it!