Annual book banning event condemns censorship and reminds public of freedom

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The American Library Association and the Office for Intellectual Freedom is condemning censorship by sharing the top 11 books receiving criticism and the University of Utah is supporting the movement too.

During the annual Banned Books Open Reading on Thursday, the public was encouraged to read the banned books aloud and learn from experts about the freedom of reading.

“It’s so important that we talk about the banning or the challenging of books because it completely goes against what we as a nation stand for which is freedom,” says Heidi Brett, U of U marketing/public relations director.

Brett says the banned and challenged books come about by individuals or organizations who feel contents of a book are not appropriate.

Many of the books criticized in 2018 were challenged due to their LGBTQIA+ content.

“We in libraries don’t believe in censorship and we feel it’s important that students know that,” Brett says. “It ties into the First Amendment, it’s freedom of speech,[and] it’s intellectual freedom.”

According to the ALA and the OIF, the most challenged books in 2018 were:

  • George
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
  • The Captain Underpants series
  • The Hate U Give
  • Drama
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki,
  • The Skippyjon Jones series
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • This Day in June
  • Two Boys Kissing

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