By Sarah-Lyn Subhan
From Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, the KU chapter of Alpha Beta Alpha held a Banned Book Fair, featuring 34 books that have been banned and challenged since 1982.
Many popular titles were featured at the event, including “The Hunger Games,” “Where’s Waldo,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harry Potter series, “I am Jazz,” “Nappy Hair” and various others.
The attempt to protect children from harm that could be caused by these books is the primary reason why teachers, religious leaders and parents are often the instigators of censorship.
The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of censorship in books that are a proposed violation of first amendment rights. The books were available for purchase with a portion of the profits benefiting the library science fraternity.
Rachel Smith, senior and president of ABA, said, “Banning books does take away your first amendment which is your freedom to speech [and] freedom of expression. These books show multiple expressions and young students especially should be able to grow up and read those items that are challenging in our society.”
Visitors who stopped by the event could pick up a button and bookmark created at STEAMworks. Visitors
could also get a mug shot taken with a sign that read “Caught Reading Banned Books.”
In addition to raising awareness about banned books and the first amendment, the event helped fundraise for the private fraternity to support their attendance at special events in the future.
Most of the featured books were banned for dealing with real life and modern issues such as LGBTQ issues, racial issues and mentions of slavery, sexually explicit material, magic, nudity and themes unsuitable for children, to whom the books are often aimed at.
The National Coalition Against Censorship is one of the many organizations fighting against banning books.
According to ncac.org, “Censorship is the suppression of an idea or image because it offends, disturbs or threatens someone. Alternatively, many censors attempt to suppress speech simply because they disagree with it.”