Wichita Library celebrates banned books


Courtesy of Wichita Public Library

This is the Wichita Library’s first time celebrating Banned Books week, but it won’t be the last.

“Wichita Public Library hasn’t celebrated bans book week before, so we decided to give it a shot this year,” Sean Jones, Marketing Manager of the Wichita Library, said.

Sept. 18-24 is national Banned Books week, according to the American Library Association, where “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.”

Jones said a lot of books have been challenged or banned in Wichita, surrounding areas, and nationwide. The Wichita Library wants their customers to know they’ve adopted the American Library’s Association’s policy on the freedom to read to support everyone’s decision to read what they want.

“The library is a place for everyone regardless of … who you are and what you are interested in,” Jones said.

In honor of banned books, the Wichita Library is hosting different banned book events throughout the week and a medallion hunt.

On Monday, the Advanced Learning Library screened the film adaptation of the challenged book, “The Lovely Bones.”

On Wednesday, the library will host a half-price book sale from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. It will also screen the film “The Giver” from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Evergreen Community Center and Library.

On Friday, Sept. 23, there will be a live episode of the “Read. Return. Repeat.” a podcast featuring Sherman Alexie, author of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” at the Advanced Learning Library.

Throughout the week, you can participate in the “Banned Book Medallion Search,” where clues will be uploaded at 9 a.m everyday to the library’s social media accounts. The clue will lead you somewhere within Wichita City’s limits.

Teens are also invited to get creative and create their own cover of a banned book, where they will be printed as bookmarks for libraries.

Jones said how the library is funded by tax dollars, making them represent the community, and everyone in that community believes different things, has different interests and wants to borrow different materials from the library — the library shouldn’t block those materials from people.

“Everyone should be able to read what they want, ” Jones said.