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Russellville Public Library celebrates Banned Books Week

Russellville Public Library is spotlighting frequently banned or challenged books during 2021’s Banned Books Week, from Sept. 26 through Oct. 2.

Among the titles that have been banned or challenged are such favorites as “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Merriam-Webster’s Biographical Dictionary” and the Bible.

The Banned Books Week website, bannedbooksweek.org, explains the annual observance began in 1982 “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.”

“One of the core tenets of libraries is the access of information,” said Russellville Public Library Director Ashley Cummins. “Libraries have a responsibility to protect information in all its forms. That’s why intellectual freedom is so important to us and why we fight daily to challenge censorship, and it’s also why we are celebrating Banned Books Week.”

Library employees wrapped some frequently challenged or banned books in black – with the title visible on the spine – to call attention to the fact that they have been banned or challenged in the past. The books were placed back on the shelves in their wrappings to help raise awareness.

RPL employees also have been wearing black during the week to further promote awareness about how censorship affects the learning and spreading of ideas.

The Russellville Public Library is located downtown at 110 Lawrence Street E. For more information, call 256-332-1535, email ruslib110@yahoo.com or visit its Facebook page facebook.com/RussellvillePublicLibrary. Call to schedule an appointment or knock on the front door for walk-in service. Face masks are required; masks will be provided to visitors who arrive without theirs.