Lawton library recognizes "Banned Books Week" - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawton library recognizes "Banned Books Week"

Lawton_The 30th annual "Banned Books Week" is upon us.  It's when book lovers of all kinds celebrate the freedom to read and express ideas, even those considered unpopular. By shedding light on the efforts to *limit* access to books, banned books week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Celebrating the right to freely read and communicate is so important to the Lawton Public Library that they recently endorsed the American Library Association's "Freedom to Read" statement.

"We live in a society that values freedom of access and freedom of information. We want our communities to have access. We want individuals to choose for themselves what they want to read and look at, and 'Banned Book Week' is a celebration of our right to read and it's a reminder of how quickly we can lose our right if we don't protect it," said Kristen Herr, Lawton Public Library Director.

And let's not forget. It's not just our  freedom of reading these bans affect. Our children's educations are on the line as well.

"There are some great classics and when you start banning some of those classics you're denying our culture and the history of our society. Every little bit counts," Herr said.

So, just why are all of these controversial books so successful in pop culture?

"Controversy actually creates buzz. And controversy creates excitement around books. All it does is encourage more people to read."

Banned books week is also about challenged books. Challenged books are considered objectionable, but can still be found on our shelves. A challenged book can easily turn into a banned book, so to keep them safe here in Lawton, our library is promoting good, old-fashioned common sense.

"People can self-monitor themselves. What's right for you to read is not necessarily what's right for me to read. And those individual choices we make are really important. We are celebrating our freedom to make those choices," Herr said.

Among the books that have topped the list of the most banned books in the past ten years are the popular series such as "The Hunger Games", "Twilight", and "Harry Potter".

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