‘A week-long celebration of the freedom to read.’
This week saw the first Banned Books Week at Wellington. Billed as a ‘week-long celebration of the freedom to read’, Banned Books Week has been celebrated in the USA since 1982 but this is the first year that the UK has officially joined in. A banned book refers to any book ‘that has been censored, banned or where its removal or restriction has been called for from libraries, schools, bookshops or public circulation. A book might be challenged by individuals, private pressure groups or governments who disagree with its content or message and therefore wish to censor or silence the author’s voice’. From ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ to Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse Five,’ numerous well-loved and highly regarded books have been censored at a particular time or in a specific place.
Students and staff were encouraged to exercise their freedom to read with a display of banned books in the library. The message from the librarians? We dare you to read one!
Head Librarian, Lucy Atherton commented, ‘Lots of the books that we consider to be classics today were banned at one point in their history. Some of the Third Form visitors to the library this week were incredulous that ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was on the list’.Back to all news