Photo by Katie Compton

Sept 21-27 is Banned Book Week, a yearly event which tries to raise awareness of banned or challenged books in the U.S.

The American Library Association (ALA) describes a banned book as “the removal of … materials” and a challenged book as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials.”

Carmichael Library, in observance of Banned Books Week, had a few activities to help raise awareness.

One included a display of banned books set up in the library’s front lobby. The display included many titles spanning from classic literature to merely decade old novels. “The Catcher in the Rye,”  for instance, was banned for “indelicate, indecent and almost blasphemous references” for its time according to the National Archives of Australia.

John Green’s “Looking for Alaska,” a more recent title that was on display, was barred due to “inappropriate language” and “the sexual nature of the story” as stated by Marshall University.

Even the beginning book in the Harry Potter series, “…the Sorcerer’s Stone” was banned for inappropriate “themes of witchcraft and sorcery” and made “witchcraft and wizardry alluring to children.”

“Banning books is banning thoughts. It’s stifling freedom of speech,” said freshman Sarah Boggan.

Carmichael staff member Amanda Melcher commented on the practice of banning and censorship reading in saying, “I don’t think anyone should tell you what you can and cannot read.”