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  • Writer's pictureLynn Lovegreen

Banned Books Week 2023

Banned Books Week logo in left corner, Let Freedom Read text in center of open book graphic, at bottom Banned Books Week October 1-7, 2023,, X/Twitter @BannedBooksWeek, Instagram @banned_books_week, #BannedBooksWeek  #LetFreedomRead

October 1-7, 2023 is Banned Books Week. While the week has traditionally been a time to celebrate the right to read what we choose, it’s more relevant now. Public and school libraires are dealing with more book challenges than ever before. Even in Southcentral Alaska, in the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District, the school board changed its policy and procedures and recently removed or restricted four books. More titles are to be considered.

I am against book bans. While I respect parents’ rights to be involved with their children’s education, including reading, I believe the better approach is to read and discuss books with children, not ban them outright. Both parents and children can practice critical thinking skills and talk about important issues found in reading material, movies and so on. Plus, no one has a right to deny other people’s children the right to read a certain book. What may not be a good book for you may be just the right book for another person. And I haven’t even mentioned how representation matters. Seeing characters and authors in your community or identity is life-affirming, and reading about people in different communities develops empathy and a better understanding of our world. Reading a great variety of books is good for everyone!

It's time to stand up for intellectual freedom and our right to read without government overreach. Support your local library by telling your local council, assembly, or school board members how important libraries are to you. Check out the Unite Against Book Bans website at to learn more ways you can help. We must preserve our freedom to read.

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