Banned Books Week Includes Event and Addition to Beloved Community Bookshelf
The Kansas City Public Library joins libraries across the nation in observing Banned Books Week from September 18-24, 2022.
Discussion and awareness of attempts to ban reading material is more important this year than ever; the American Library Association counted 1,597 challenges or removals in 2021, more than the previous four years combined.
The Library has added two banners to its internationally popular Community Bookshelf on the parking garage at 10th and Wyandotte, creating a spectacle designed to raise public awareness and provide photo ops. Of the 42 titles the Library Board of Trustees chose to represent on 26-foot-tall spines, a third have been banned or challenged. A temporary banner reimagines the Bookshelf with Xs over those 14 books.
On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., the Library presents a panel of veteran librarians from local systems. They will discuss recent local and national book challenges as well as Missouri’s implementation of SB 775 in August.
Available to answer questions from the media from 5-5:30 p.m. on the day of the event are: Cindy Hohl, the Kansas City Public Library’s director of branch operations; Lacie Griffin, collection development and interlibrary loan manager at the Johnson County Public Library; and Rebecca Marcum Parker, Kansas City Public Schools librarian.
In response to SB 775, the Library said in a statement: “The subjective restriction of reading material is counter to the diversity necessary to serve the needs of all readers. Equitable access is a hallmark of intellectual freedom and should be valued, not compromised.”
More information about book bans and challenges can be found at kclibrary.org/bannedbooks.