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Banned Books Week at Salesian

Even though Banned Books Week is technically over, I’m going to write about it anyways. Being a solo librarian, I’m often running a little behind, but that doesn’t mean things have to be altogether forgotten. For instance, this year I wasn’t able to get my Banned Books Week display up until Tuesday (3 days into the celebration). As a result, I’m just going to keep on celebrating until I’m ready to change the display.
Banned Books Display
Last year, I simply put up Banned Books signs along with a few relevant titles. This year, I went a little more gung-ho. As you can see, all of the books are completely wrapped in orange paper to cover their titles, and they are displayed behind caution tape. Each book also has a note attached to it containing the reason for the book being banned. The louder display, coupled with PA announcements and signs posted in the hallways, has really upped the level of curiosity from the students. A few faculty members have even stopped me to guess certain titles.

In addition to the display, the students have been encouraged to guess the titles of each book. For each book they are able to guess, their names are entered into a drawing for an Amazon Gift Card. Rather than simply telling me their guess, the students have to send me an email with a link to an article that serves as their proof connecting the title to the reason for the book being banned. Though I’m more than pleased with the interest this display has garnered, I’ve been bombarded with emails and will definitely create a Google Form or other such method of entry for future contests. I’d also like to motivate them through something other than monetary means.  I learn something new every time, and as long as things keep improving year over year and the students are engaged, I’m a happy camper.

Students Eyeing Banned Books
Whether or not your celebration of Banned Books Week continues on, I hope the freedom to read whatever you please is not lost on you. Happy reading everybody!


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