Banned Books

Library display brings awareness to controversial titles


Photo by Refentse Maselwa

This display contains titles and books in a box of flames that are being banned.

Refentse Maselwa, Staff Writer



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  • Rachel Walton and Sierra Alley show off the flames book display.

  • Rachel Walton, right, Technical Services Assistant, organizes books on display in Stanley Library.

  • Titles that have been burned with caution tape around them.

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Walking into the library, people immediately see a display of flames and books covered in caution tape and brown paper bags, stripped of their identity by those who deem the words unworthy to be on paper.

On the other side there is another display with more banned books and the words: “NEW FUEL TO FEED THE FLAMES”–a strong message that the books can literally stand behind.

Banned Books Week (September 18 – 24, 2022) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. This year was no different, and the week’s theme was “Books unite us censorship divides us.”

“Every year there is a theme, and this year is censorship. Obviously we went with flame because we have a resurgence of burning,” Rachel Walton Technical Services Assistant, said.

Walton and Sierra Alley, Collection Development and Technical Services Librarian, set up a fiery display with all the titles of the previous year that were banned/challenged. The fire display took them two weeks to plan and build.

“Every book that’s burned is knowledge of some sort lost,” Walton said.  “Maybe that is the book that a little girl or little boy is going to see themselves in the protagonist or help you escape reality. Burning books is something that should never happen.”

Many books with content that include sexual situations or dialog are banned or censored. Violence or Negativity: Books with content that include violence are often banned or censored. Some books have also been deemed too negative or depressing and have been banned or censored as well. The banned books range from well-known titles to more obscure printings.

The next Banned Books Week will be Oct. 1 – 7, 2023! How does one show support? Read all the banned books. Lend the books from the library and spread awareness.