Banned Book Week – rights of a reader

Story and Photo by Bailee Council – Staff Reporter

 

As readers, you have the right to read, and you also have the right to not like a book. But do you have the right to say no one should ever read a certain book?

 George by Alex Gino; Stamped: Racism by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds; and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely were all on this year’s list of banned books. All these books were challenged for reasons like LGBTQIA+, the author’s statements were “racist against all people ” and having matters that were “too sensitive”. Overall books are getting banned for a variety of reasons — sex, religion/witchcraft, language/bad words, drugs used, and violence.

 In all of the 27 years Michael Russell has been a librarian, he has taught his students their rights as readers. 

   “For us at LSN we are able to talk about the right as a reader, the constitutional right to choose what you do and don’t want to read. A huge right that you shouldn’t be able to say no one can read this,” Russell, said. 

   Russell explained that a “banned book” isn’t necessarily banned for the world. However these varieties of books were “challenged” and, in the eyes of a community member, should not be read or available in that setting.

   “I think the basic idea of banned books should be accessible, often what happens in schools is parents make the objections trying to protect their kids,” Russell said. 

Overall it’s important as students and as readers that it is not only talked about our rights to read but also protects those rights to read. If nobody stands up for those rights, then they will go away or just end up being ignored.