The Pulaski County Public Library is celebrating banned books this week. Banned Books Week, according to the library’s website, is a celebration of more than 30 years of the freedom to read, a freedom firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees not only freedom of speech but freedom of the press as well.
While Americans enjoy an ever-increasing number of books, information and other reading material, there are censors trying to limit the freedom of those who wish to choose what they read, see or hear, and each passing year brings more challenges to books that look to have the materials removed from libraries. In light of that, the supervisor of the Pulaski County Public Library, Virginia Kennedy, said the library is holding Banned Books Week in an effort to celebrate our freedom to read.
“It’s just to celebrate the freedom to read. There are certain libraries out there that have banned books in their library; they took the books out that have been banned. We don’t do that. There’s lots of reasons, one could be just the language in it or a political statement,” said Kennedy.
This year’s featured book, according to Kennedy, is George Orwell’s “1984” – a book that has recently undergone a resurgence in popularity, due to the recent developments in surveillance by the National Security Administration. Previous books have included “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Slaughterhouse Five.” Kennedy said the library has around 35 copies of this year’s featured book available for rental.
The library is encouraging everyone to visit and view the Banned Books Week display to pick up a bibliography of books that were challenged or banned. A community book discussion will also be held today at 6 p.m. ET, when those who have read the book or are interested in it are encouraged to come by and be a part of the discussion.
“The patrons have took the book, ‘1984,’ and they’ve read it, and they’ll come Thursday night at 6 p.m. and talk about it, and view over the book,” Kennedy explained.