Grasselli’s Banned Books series hopes to spark opinions

September 29th, 2015

Banned Books Week is approaching and John Carroll University is participating in the nationwide event to bring awareness on this issue regarding freedom of speech.


Banned Books Week was founded in 1982 by Judith Krug and has been sponsored by the American Library Association. The week-long event begins Sept. 27 and continues until Oct. 3, but John Carroll University will have a special event in Grasselli Library on Wednesday, Sept. 30, where volunteers will read excerpts from “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, which ranked number seven on the banned books list in 2013.


“Grasselli’s Banned Book Read-Aloud will be a part of a national celebration of Banned Books Week,” said Amy Wainwright, an Outreach and Student Engagement Librarian. “During this event students, faculty and staff have volunteered their time to read for five minutes out loud from the book ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green. By choosing to read from a book that has been challenged before, we are making a stand that censorship is not okay.”


Some students who will be involved in the event gave their perspective on Banned Books Week.


Freshman Celine Burias said, “I decided to participate in the Banned Books reading because I read and really enjoyed ‘Looking For Alaska’ by John Green. I’m not a big public speaker and I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk in front of people while reading something I enjoy.”


When asked why other John Carroll students should get involved with the event, Burias said, “Students should recognize our freedom to read. It is often taken for granted because most of us never had a problem with censorship of books, but this event is a great way to gather around with friends and enjoy a good story.”


JCU students and faculty want to bring awareness to this issue so there will no longer be a censorship on what people can or cannot read.


Freshman Arshiya Mariam, who is also participating in the Banned Books reading, gave her reasoning for being involved, stating, “I am simply curious. I wanted to know the reasoning why certain books are banned.”


The Banned Books Read Along Event will be an informational and enlightening occasion, in hopes of allowing students to have a voice about this particular issue.


Editor’s Note: If you would like to be involved in the John Carroll University Banned Books Read Along, contact Amy Wainwright: