SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) Would you believe in this enlightened era that people around the world, the U.S and even here in Utah are still trying to ban books? Ban them because they are offended by something political or sexual or religious in those books. There are still those who want to ban The Bible or The Book of Mormon in public libraries.
Monday kicked off national Banned Books Week, recognized by libraries everywhere. The Marriott Library on the University of Utah campus joined in with a somewhat dramatic demonstration.
They set up a speakers platform where people read excerpts from books that have been banned or challenged. Books like "Of Mice And Men", "Gone With The Wind", "Lord Of The Rings" and "Catcher In The Rye."
Librarian Emeritus Julie Hinz told the crowd about that 1951 book. "Reasons for banning have included vulgar language, sexual promiscuity, blasphemy and atheism, loose moral codes, smoking, drinking and dishonesty."
That's exactly the problem according to Marriott library dean Alberta Comer. "When you ban a book, you're not just banning a book. You're banning a thought. You're banning an idea and that's what is scary."
She says a conversation a librarian had with a young boy is something she will remember forever. The librarian was telling the boy about people burning bibles. "And he said, why would anyone want to burn a book? What were they afraid of? And the librarian said they were afraid of an idea. They were afraid of something that was different."
According to the American Library Association some of the top books that were challenged in 2015 include: Fifty Shades of Grey (too sexual), I Am Jazz (homosexual themes), and The Holy Bible (religious themes). No Kidding!
Dean Comer worries when she hears that and she wants to make sure there are never any book burnings or any attempts to ban books. "We can't be afraid of ideas," she says. "Even if they are ideas we object to. We've got to make sure that we keep allowing the public the right and the freedom to continue to read and to think thoughts that are outside of what other people might think is correct."
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