TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The Tyler Public Library is giving away historically banned books through Friday this week, using Banned Books Week as an opportunity for people to learn about the history behind the issue.
“It’s important today for the same reasons it was important in 1982,” said Ashley Taylor, a city librarian with the Tyler Public Library.
According to the American Library Association, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlight historical attempts to censor books. That’s why the Tyler Public Library is handing out literature that has been historically challenged.
“Providing a giveaway in honor of the 70th anniversary publication of ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ and ‘Where The Wild Things Are,'” Taylor said.
They give one book to each family on a first-come first-serve basis.
“We are spacing out the materials available throughout the week so that we have some available every day,” Taylor said.
While the library is celebrating, some people believe they need to be doing more to educate.
“There are no banned books in America,” said Dee Chambless, Grassroots America We the People, the Co-chair Volunteer Coordinator.
She explained that it’s about making literature available to the right readers, especially in public places like libraries and schools.
“If there is inappropriate, sexually explicit, or pervasively vulgar content in a book that is accessible to minors, that is going to get challenged,” Chambless said.
Chambless is with Grassroots America – We the People, a conservative political action committee in East Texas. She explained that moving these publications to young adult sections like the one in the Tyler Public Library is not good enough.
“A 24-year-old man would be looking for books in that section that a 14-year-old girl is looking,” Chambless said.
She is hoping for a change in the placement of inappropriate books.
“Just move the books, that’s all we are saying, protecting our children is our top priority,” Chambless said.
The Tyler Public Library said on Facebook that there is not and has never been adult content in their children’s section and provided a link where you can search for locations of books in their online catalogue.
You can learn more about Banned Books Week at this link.