Banned Books Week kicks off with contest

By Sean LaPlaca

The banned-book best food design contest kicked off Banned Books Week Tuesday, celebrating the freedom to read any literature.

The importance of Banned Books Week is to make unpopular viewpoints in books available to read for everyone.

The contest was held for entries with the best food-made design of a banned book cover. The winner of the best overall entry received a $20 Amazon gift card.

Coordinator Stephanie Reynolds said parents should be able to choose if they want their children to read certain literature.

“Every kid is different,” Reynolds said. “If you remove the access to read, it may not turn them into a reader.”

Reynolds understands how important literature can be for anybody, for example, the book “Where the Wild Things Are” was challenged and banned for certain readers because it was said to be too scary.

“It is more difficult to challenge a book today, since the requirement is to actually read the book, rather than picking something small from what they read or heard in the book,” said Amber Surface, a graduate research assistant in library and information science.

Books can be challenged at any time, but the list of challenged books is located on the website.

Ashley Izzo, a graduate research assistant in library and information science, said she understands issues with literature.

“But it should not be dictated because everyone in life has a personal choice of what they want to read,” she said.

Rachel McGuire, a second year graduate student in library and information science, agreed.

“If you are a parent, you’re supposed to take care of your own child, not to make decisions by banning books for everyone else’s child,” she said.

Banned Books Week will continue through Saturday and will emphasize the harms of censorship.