IRC Hosts Banned Books Week


By Jackie Bajric

The official banned books week started last week, on Sunday, Sept. 27. Niles West will be celebrating through the rest of the week in the IRC.

Banned books week is an annual event supporting the freedom to read, as books are often banned due to unorthodox content. Granting all of this, banned books week brings together readers of all types.

Although IRC Media specialist, Sherry Baehr and librarian, Kelly Stallard prefer to use the term “challenged” books rather than “banned” books. 

“We say banned books, but we really are talking about books that have been challenged against for weeks or even decades,” Baehr said.

The number one banned book on the 2014 Top Ten Frequently Challenged Book is ‘The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian‘ by Sherman Alexie. It was the most banned book for including anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol, offensive language, and violence.

Niles West has many book lovers that are upset about the challenging of books.

“I really don’t think it’s necessary to ban books just because the content isn’t for all ages. It doesn’t matter what situation you are in or live in,  books are for everyone,” junior June Choi said.

But students are glad they have access to the books regardless.

“I think banning books is a bad thing because in a way, it restricts peoples access of knowledge. At least this week we have the chance to appreciate the books that are being challenged,” junior Andy Lee said.

English teachers will be taking pictures in the IRC posing with a banned book in hand during the week. Take a look at the rest of the challenged books that are offered in the IRC and check one out for a chance to win a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card.