Did you walk past the library recently and notice a table swathed in caution tape? If so, you caught sight of the high school library’s Banned Books Week display.
According to the American Library Association’s website, “Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.”
The American Library Association started Banned Books Week in 1982, rallying educators, librarians, booksellers, authors, and readers ever since to preserve the freedom to read. 2022 is the 40th anniversary of Banned Books Week.
“I never knew about Banned Books Week until I became a librarian. The ALA, American Library Association, started it. It’s a week to spotlight the fact that books get censored, that books get banned,” said high school librarian Sara Jauniskis.
In terms of how the high school chose to bring attention to the week, Rebecca DeGrace, another school librarian, said that the library staff wore matching shirts, had a display with commonly banned books, and set up a sign at the door of the library sharing why the week is celebrated.
DeGrace said that some students saw the caution tape and talked about some of the books featured in the display, expressing disbelief that popular titles such as “Harry Potter” faced bans and censorship.
“Often banned books are some of the most important you can read, so celebrating that was cool,” said Ellery Franceschini ’25.
Despite minimal reaction to the display, there are no plans to stop celebrating the week, as the high school library has celebrated it for at least the last ten years.
“Next year, more caution tape,” said Jauniskis.