Stand Up for Your Right to Read

Story and Photo Credits By Hilary Broman

Staff Reporter

CNM libraries have set up displays to celebrate Banned Books Week from September 25 to October 1, said Varina Kosovich, CNM library outreach coordinator and reference specialist.

Banned Books Week is an annual event put on by the American Library Association which celebrates the freedom to read, Kosovich said.

Each year many books are banned or challenged in the U.S for various reasons ranging from anti-family to violence or graphic images, she said.

Some books at the main campus library display include: And Tango Makes Three, which was banned for being anti-family and having a possible homosexual agenda; Beyond Magenta, which is about transgender teens; and Bless Me Ultima, which is considered to contain satanist content, Kosovich explained.

Westside and Montoya libraries also have a banned books display, she said.

Many of these books are not banned from college or university libraries because they tend to encourage more open thought but these books are more likely to be banned from elementary, middle, and high school libraries as well as public libraries, she said.

“I think as a library our main priority is to offer as much information as we possibly can without censoring it,” Kosovich said. “If we censor one thing what’s to stop us from censoring another?”

School is about students learning, exploring and forming their own opinions, she said, and reading is a part of that process.

There have been many positive reactions from the book display so far, she said.

Many students have been curious and asking questions about banned books week which is what the display was intended to do, she said.

“We just want to bring attention to how sometimes people around the country don’t have a limitless freedom to read whatever they want,” Kosovich stated.

From 2000-2009, 5,099 challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom according to  Here are the top eight reasons and the number at the bottom represents the number of challenges for each reason.  Infographic credit: Heather Hay

Students can go to the American Library Association website to see this year’s list of banned books and reasons why they were banned as well as past lists, Kosovish said.

Students can also search #bannedbooksweek on Twitter and Instagram to view different displays around the country, she said.

Kosovich said that if a book is banned it is more likely to draw people in.

“If you tell me something is banned I’m going to read it,” she said.

Printable story

Leave a Reply