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Austin Peay State University Library advocates against censorship, celebrates Banned Books Week


Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Libraries support an individual’s right to choose books freely for themselves. This year, the American Library Association (ALA) and the Felix G. Woodward Library at Austin Peay State University (APSU) are celebrating Banned Books Week September 22nd–28th, with the theme “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On!”

Banned Books Week is a time to recognize the right to access books without censorship and celebrate the freedom to read. 

Austin Peay State University Woodward Library celebrates Banned Books Week. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University Woodward Library celebrates Banned Books Week. (APSU)

“Banning books has no place in a literate, informed society,” Joe Weber, APSU director of library services, said. “Individuals should be allowed to make their own choices about what to read.”

Thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents and students, most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Slaughterhouse Five” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” remain available.

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds citizens that while not every book is intended for every reader, each individual has the right to decide for themselves what to read, listen to or view. The Woodward Library, along with thousands of colleges, schools, libraries and bookstores across the country, will celebrate the freedom to read by participating in special events, exhibits and read-outs that showcase books that have been banned or threatened.

The Woodward Library will host a banned books read-out from 1:00pm-3:00pm on Wednesday, September 25th, on the main floor of the library. The read-out is open to the public, and there will also be a photo booth and an interactive display available throughout the week. 

In 2018, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) recorded 483 banned or challenged books. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. Banning is the removal of those books. About half of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded. 

For information about Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association’s website at

For information about the events and display, contact the APSU Library at 931.221.7346 or visit




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