September 21-27 is Banned Books Week 2014, a time when the entire national book community celebrates the freedom to read and raises awareness of the continued and very real dangers of censorship. Banned Books Week is very important to the LCOPL; we will have a number of displays throughout the library. Also, keep an eye on this blog, because every day this week we will be posting quotes from a variety of authors who have kindly shared with us their thoughts on censorship and freedom of expression.
This year’s national thematic focus is on comics and graphic novels, which have recently seen a substantial rise in library challenges. Graphic novels face particular issues for challenges, as their visual nature can seem more explicit and easily misconstrued than prose. There is also the continued misperception that comics are inherently a child’s medium. Examples of recent graphic novel challenges include the pulling of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis from the Chicago school curriculum, and Jeff Smith’s Bone being named ALA’s tenth most challenged book of 2013. This year we’ll have a display highlighting a number of frequently challenged graphic novels. You can also check out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Banned Books Week Handbook and list of banned and challenged comics to learn more.