Let freedom read, my library ‘tis of thee, Sweet land of mystery, of thee I read. 

The ideals of the original tune of “Let Freedom Ring” is the chance of freedom and that it should be spread across the nation, and worldwide. Freedom is the chance to obtain something without restriction. Just like going into the library, everyone should be able to enter a public library to obtain any book or material. Anything is possible. There should be no censorship to what they want to read, however, over many years books have been banned in public libraries and schools. This movement has led to the creation of Banned Books Week. 

What is Banned Books Week? Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 due to a surge in challenges to books in schools and libraries. This significant and crucial week is typically held in the last week of September and is a celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week is an annual event that focuses on any current and historical attempts to censor books throughout the country in libraries and schools. 

The 2021 theme, according to the American Library Association, is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Information and books should be easily accessible, unify people, and aid the development of inclusion. Several recently banned books that can be found at the Adams County Library System are “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher (one of the most challenged books in 2017), “Beartown” by Fredrik Backman, “George” by Alex Gino, and Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give.” Books like these are challenged across the country for many reasons from discussing suicide, transgender characters, or drug use. Visit your local library today, to decide your own opinion and viewpoint on these banned books. Celebrate the right and freedom of reading!

Visit www.bannedbooksweek.org or www.adamslibrary.org for more information.

Submitted by Bryn Ann Jarusewski, Branch Manager, New Oxford Library