LUJ Joins in Celebrating Banned Books Week

11 October 2016 In LUJ News
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Standing up for your right to read is one of the central ideas of Banned Books Week celebrations around the world. LUJ now joins countless authors, schools, and libraries to celebrate this freedom with activities beginning during Banned Books Week (Sept. 25 - Oct. 16).

The university library began the week by showcasing works of literature that have withstood challenges or bans in the U.S., Japan or elsewhere. Many professors posed with their favorite banned books in mock mugshots, hoping that students will explore some of the literature. Other opportunities for student participation will follow through the month of October. 

Speaking on the topic of censorship, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin said: "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world you fear what he might say". Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami noted that "if you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking". Both authors place great value on the freedom of press, expression, and the sharing of ideas. 

Banned Books Week began in the United States in 1982 in reaction to increased censorship. Challenges to books with allegedly controversial content have come from parents, community groups, schools, governments, and even sometimes librarians. The books targeted for bans have ranged from the Bible to classics by John Steinbeck and Mark Twain to the Harry Potter and Captain Underpants series. The American Library Association reports, in fact, more than 11,300 books have been challenged since the establishment of Banned Books Week. The organization hopes that the recognition of challenged books will remind people of the critical importance of free press and free speech. 


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