The Central Arkansas Library System is celebrating Banned Books Week this week (22nd-28th) in an effort to promote intellectual freedom. A series of events and plays are being put on in conjunction with the Weekend Theater. Events include a stage production mash-up of A Doll’s House and Clockwork Orange – both of which have been challenged and banned around the country at various times.
Susan Gele, with the library system, said people challenge books for a variety of causes, “There are many different reasons that people challenge a book and it could range from having offensive language to being unsuited for an age group or sexual explicitness either in descriptions or inferences of orientation.”
Gele said the American Library Association believes it’s up to parents to determine what material is suitable and that it not in the interest of libraries to limit the availability of information.
“Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of all types of viewpoints whether they may be unorthodox or unpopular. It stresses the relationship of a parent and a child and those two making a decision on reading material as opposed to a larger entity whether it be a school district, a library system, or the government,” said Gele.
Regularly challenged popular titles include Harry Potter, Fifty Shades of Grey, and 1984.