UT celebrates Banned Books Weeks

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 8:04 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - For nearly 40 years, the last week of September has been “National Banned Books Week,” highlighting the importance of freedom of speech and education across the world.

According to the American Library Association, 566 books were challenged or banned last year. So this week, the University of Toledo is taking part in a nationwide week of action, when everyone is challenged to read banned books. This is UT’s 23rd year participating. This year’s theme is “censorship is a dead end."

This effort is supported by Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, who declared this Thursday, October 1, “Banned Books Day.”

The event is organized by the UToledo Banned Book Coalition, who will be giving away prizes and gift cards, for book stores, of course.

Members of the coalition say this year, fighting for the first amendment is more important than ever.

“Reading freely and thinking freely are not automatic, and the news we get, if the reporters are not respected and not trusted, we all lose,” says Dr. Paulette Kilmer, UT professor of communication and coordinator of the coalition.

The celebration kicks off today at 11 a.m. with a talk about The Hate U Give, a young adult novel turned motion picture, that was banned in a Texas school district and challenged in another in South Carolina in recent years.

For a full schedule of events and how to join, visit the coalition’s website.

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