WILMINGTON — Wilmington College and the Wilmington Public Library are partnering to present a Banned Book Discussion Series on Thursday, Sept. 22 at WC’s Watson Library.
The sessions highlighting book banning in the United States include one from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed by a second from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
These sessions will include conversations about the current state of book banning in the nation, a review of how book bans are initiated and the process of responding to these requests from libraries. They will also address strategies on how citizens can be involved in protecting access to controversial books as concerned community members.
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracks attempts to ban or restrict access to books across the United States and to inform the public about censorship efforts in our libraries and schools. Attempts to remove library materials continued during the pandemic, despite many libraries and schools closing or moving their activities and services online.
In 2021, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services, affecting 1,597 books.
The office also noted a focus on demands to remove books that addressed racism and racial justice or those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color. A list of banned and challenged titles can be found on the ALA website.
Some critically acclaimed banned books in America have included: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, National Book Award Finalist “Speak” by Laura Halse Anderson, “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and the “Captain Underpants” series by Dav Pilkey.