Rowan County Public Library hosted a celebration for the banned books of America.
The annual “Banned Books Bash” was hosted by the RCPL on September 29 in celebration of national Banned Books Week. Participants made their own buttons and had their pictures taken while they learned about different books that have been deemed “inappropriate.”
The event also highlighted the importance of freedom in literary exposure.
“It’s the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all sources and then decide for ourselves,” said Jess Brock, program coordinator for the RCPL.
Several books that were highlighted include the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling for “promoting witchcraft” and Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park for “promoting bad morals to children.”
Banned books have been a longstanding topic for debate, and it was especially close to home for Morgan Mullins, marketing specialist at the RCPL.
“I feel a lot of the books that get challenged is me getting challenged,” said Mullins, who has been working alongside Brock to assist the event for several years.
Mullins said that books that are banned also have to do with topics that affect minorities, of which he is several.
A few topics that are challenged the most by school districts include racism, bad morals, mental illness and LGBTQ+ subjects and education. Many individuals believe these are not suitable topics to expose to students, but the Banned Books Bash is held to counter this belief.
“The fact that it makes you uncomfortable means that we need to have that conversation,” said Mullins. “It’s our duty to talk about it.”
Brock and Mullins wish to educate the public on the freedom of choice in literature. Challenging books defeats the purpose of choice in one’s own literary education.
“Books are a great tool to teach your child to have that difficult conversation,” said Brock, “Because that stuff is out there in the real world. What better way to learn about the tougher topics then from your grown up that you love and trust?”