Banned Books Week is September 27 to October 3rd. To celebrate we are featuring a few of our staff with their favorite banned books.
Jennifer Masunaga, Reference Librarian
What is your favorite Banned Book?
I have so many! But today I think it’s a tie between The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, both by J.R.R Tolkien.
Why is Banned Books Week important to you?
As a librarian and as an educator I feel it’s important to be aware of the power Words have in our society. To think that we have politicians and figureheads falling over themselves in attempts to censor books (especially children’s picture books and classic literature) seems unbelievable. But it happens far more often then we’d like to admit. It may not happen in our university or at our local libraries but it does happen and we need to keep reminding ourselves to be vigilant.
Looking over the American Library Association’s lists of banned and challenged books, which have you found the most surprising and why?
I was very shocked to see Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop on the 2014 list of contemporary banned books (see also this article). Talk about twisting an innocent story into something it’s not! But I guess I find it shocking and not surprising because children’s books get banned all the time. People are the most sensitive when it comes to children and young adult literature and they are the ones who end up the most affected and disenfranchised as a result. That’s why it’s important that everyone is aware of Banned Books Week so they can help librarians and teachers preserve these books for the next generation.