L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library recognizes Banned Books Week

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - This week is Banned Books Week, which serves as a chance to highlight and recognize banned books. The theme for this year’s Banned Books Week is ‘Books unite us. Censorship divides us.’

Isa Small, Programming and Communications Director at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, said removing books from shelves is a form of censorship.

“The library’s goal is to have an informed and engaged citizenry,” Small said. “In order to participate in different conversations, whether it’s a friendly conversation over the dinner table or at an official debate, you need to have access to the information to have that informed opinion.”

Stephanie Schulz, Reference Services Coordinator at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library, said this week does not celebrate the banning of books, it celebrates intellectual freedom.

“So, the books that are frequently banned are books with characters or about people, usually in minorities. So, at our library, we try to provide all points of view, and when we ban those books, then people aren’t seeing themselves represented in our collection.”

With this goal in mind, the library created a display highlighting banned books and providing activities to the public.

“There’s a letter-writing campaign called, ‘Dear Banned Author,’ and we have postcards available for people to write to their favorite authors of banned and challenged books just to show them some support,” Schulz said.

There is also a “Guess the Title” game where individuals can guess the titles of banned books through emojis. All of these activities aim to inform the community about banned books.

“Many of the banned books are banned because they challenge people’s idea of what is right and wrong, of what is real and not real,” Small said.

Small said the library believes in delivering services and materials to everyone, which means having a variety of content reflecting the interests of the community.

The library has lists of commonly challenged and banned books available, and Schulz said they can help place holds or check out those titles for those who are interested.

If you have any concerns about the books in the library, you can contact the library for more information.