Banned Book Week Celebrated In Central Arkansas

Sep 28, 2015

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.
Credit American Library Association / American Library Association

Libraries in Arkansas and across the nation are marking Banned Books Week. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and Pulaski Technical College have events planned.

CALS is hosting a free screening of The Color Purple at the Ron Robinson Theater on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the screening a dramatic reenactment of an interview with author Alice Walker is scheduled.

“It’s really to combat censorship and to celebrate that in most cases, these banned books do... make their way back to the shelves. It’s really about freedom to read and intellectual freedom as well,” said Brad Mooy who coordinates the Arkansas Literary Festival for CALS and is organizing the screening.

Depictions of violence, sex, offensive language, or controversial political viewpoints are among the most common reasons books are banned, according to the American Library Association.

Wendy Davis, the dean of libraries at Pulaski Tech, says her school will host its annual public read-out in which faculty and students read excerpts from banned books. This year’s readings will feature excerpts from dystopian literature, including the Hunger Games series.

“A lot of these dystopian titles are geared towards what they call young adult readers. A lot of the challenges are for things that people don’t think are appropriate for young adults,” said Davis.

She believes the read-outs are most effective when followed by discussion about why the book was challenged or banned. The readings are scheduled on the main campus center of Pulaski Tech in North Little Rock on Tuesday, September 29 and Wednesday, September 30 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and at their South Campus in Little Rock from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29.

You can learn more about the CALS events here: http://www.arkansasliteraryfestival.org/about/news/banned-books-week-2015.html

Infographic of the 2014 Book Challenges from the State of America's Libraries Report
Credit State of America's Libraries Report / American Library Association.