Celebrate your freedom to read!

Contributed by Julie Howard who has been doing a study visit at the library this past week. Julie is visiting us from Colorado and is finishing her Master of Library Science Degree from Emporia State University.


Glasgow Women’s library celebrates your freedom to choose what you want to read! This past week they have been celebrating this right by highlighting frequently banned or challenged books. Banned Book Week celebrations began in 1982 in response to a sudden increase in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. It is typically held during the last week of September and is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. The book community joins together to support a person’s freedom to seek out and express ideas. Promoting books that have been banned or challenged brings attention to these attempts at censorship.

Why do books get challenged or banned and who is doing the challenging? The reasons vary according to the personal beliefs of different kinds of people and groups. Historically, these groups or individuals want to suppress anything or anyone that conflicts with their own beliefs. According to the American Library Association– Office of Intellectual Freedom, challenges are generally motivated by a desire to protect children from books that have overtly sexual or violent themes, books which advocate revolutionary ideas, books which are too progressive, or books that simply go against the status quo.

Many authors are proud to have their books banned or challenged as it then gives them the opportunity to explain why books shouldn’t be censored. J.K. Rowling, Judy Blume and Maya Angelou are just a few of the women writers that top the list of banned and challenged authors.

The following is a list of 10 frequently challenged books by women writers:
1. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
2. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
3. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wall
4. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
5. Revolutionary Voices by Amy Sonnie
6. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
7. July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
8. My Brother Has AIDS by Deborah Davis
9. Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa
10. It Stops With Me: Memoir of a Canuck Girl by Charleen Touchette


Support your freedom to read and the Glasgow Women’s Library by stopping in and having a look at their collection of “must read” challenged and banned books!


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