Library promotes free speech, reading

Samantha Hill

When visiting the Livingston-Park County Public Library this week, patrons may notice that some of their favorite books now look like a crime scene. These red taped books are to signify the 37th year of Banned Books week.

Banning books across the U.S. has been happening for many years, based on books’ content such as being sexual in nature or having blasphemous language. However, in the last week in September, libraries celebrate the dissemination of information without restrictions.

Outreach Services Librarian Suzie Catherine said she began putting “Banned” on several popular titles last week, before the actual Banned Books Week. She also put up a backdrop that looks like a police lineup so people can take pictures with their “banned” books.

Catherine said this was really the first time the local library has really gone to this length to showcase the extent of banning books.

She said there are about 30 to 50 books in the library that have been banned somewhere in the country. Most of them are common and well-known titles.

For her, the most shocking titles include “Charlotte’s Web,” “Little Women,” and ‘Where the Wild Things Are.”

“I mean all of them are surprising because they are getting rid of books,” Catherine said.

She said she hopes by putting more emphasis on the banned books, people will see how bad it is to restrict free speech.

She believes it is the librarian’s code of ethics to allow free access to information in all its forms.

And although some people may agree with the book bannings, Catherine believes many people read the books to understand what made people go against it in the first place.

“It definitely encourages people to read more,” Catherine said.