Libraries across the country are recognizing books that have previously pushed the limits in the United States.
Banned Books Week takes place between September 27th and October 3rd this year. Celebrating what are often controversial works express what the American Library Association calls the Freedom to Read.
Pulaski County Public Library Executive Director MacKenzie Ledley says censorship continues to be a present issue.
“We try to just protect the right to read at the library and we want our patrons to stay informed that there are challenges as far as censorship goes for reading materials,” says Ledley.
According to the American Library Association, more than 11-thousand books have been challenged since 1982. That number has dropped significantly since 2014, with 311 challenged works.
The Pulaski County Public Library is celebrating next week with a community discussion on last year’s most challenged reading “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,” and by providing copies of the book for community members to read.
Ledley says editions of the book are designed to engage discussions.
“And then they can get together to discuss if they think it’s a book that should be challenged, or restricted, or possibly removed or banned from a library or a school,” says Ledley. “It gives community members an opportunity to discuss the book at hand.”
Books challenged last year cited reasons such as cultural insensitivity, offensive language, and content of a sexual nature.
The Pulaski County Public Library says they have books that have been banned in the past on display for members of the public to read the material.