Utah Libraries Oppose Censorship and Book Bans

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Libraries are standing up against censorship and book banning, celebrating the freedom to read and access information through October.

September 18-24 is National Banned Books Week, established in 1982 to celebrate and promote free and open access to information. Utah Libraries showcase their diverse and inclusive collections this week with exhibits and events across the state.

In Springville, residents can join a book club celebrating Banned Books Week. They will discuss Ray Bradbury’s oft-challenged book Farenheit 451and topics around censorship in general.

The University of Utah Mariott Library will host several events throughout the week, starting Monday with a discussion that will be livestreamed and provide lunch for attendees. A quiz table on Wednesday will feature prizes, games, snacks and a selection of books and DVDs banned or challenged over the years. There’s also a new exhibit in the Mariott Library celebrating freedom of speech and academic freedom rights for U of U students through January.

Many libraries, including Day-Riverside and North Logan, will be celebrating with prominent exhibits throughout the month. The Washington County Library System will be offering a reading challenge as well as a banned books exhibit at the Hurricane branch.

The 25th Utah Humanities Book Festival features a series of readings titled Reading Dangerously, hosted at public libraries in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Park City.

Angela C. Hale