Banned Book Week at HSU: ‘Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark’ - Humboldt State Now

Banned Book Week at HSU: ‘Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark’

The HSU Library invites the public to celebrate Banned Books Week September 22 – 28 with a readout event on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. in front of the HSU Library. Journalism Professor Marcy Burstiner will facilitate the event.

Participants will read passages from books that have been challenged, censored, or banned in schools, libraries, and bookstores. Banned Books Week, an annual event since 1982, celebrates freedom of expression and brings attention to the dangers of censorship. The theme of this year’s event urges everyone to “Keep the Light On” because “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark.”

Participants can choose from a selection of banned books owned by the HSU Library or bring their own. Sign up for a time slot.

According to the American Library Association, among the most challenged books of 2018 were:
—George by Alex Gino
Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character
—A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints
—Captain Underpants series, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple

About Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

For additional information, contact the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Librarian Garrett Purchio at (707) 826-5589 or email