Lincoln libraries and bookstores mark Banned Books Week

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – This week is Banned Books Week, when libraries and bookstores celebrate books that have been challenged but stayed on their shelves.

According to the American Library Association, 729 books were challenged in 2021, an increase from previous years.

A report from Reuters says the increase is due to a rise in advocacy groups promoting “parental choice.”

“I think the attack on people … and attacks on the freedom of the press are very frightening because that’s one way to control the narrative,” said Katherine Bergstrom, manager of A Novel Idea Bookstore.

Bergstrom has several books that customers have complained about, but she stressed the importance of the freedom to choose what you read.

“The fact is, just because a book is frightening, and the things in the book we find are reprehensible, it’s still a part of our culture,” she said. “I always believe that in order to understand history, you have to read it.”

Lincoln City Libraries has several displays showcasing books that patrons have challenged recently, and according to the library association, an overwhelming number of these books contain LGBTQ themes.

“We want to be inclusive of everyone that’s in our community,” Assistant Library Director Traci Glass said. “And I think as we move forward, I really want to stay cognizant that as representatives of our community, we want everyone in our community to be able to see each other and see themselves in the material we bring forward.”

Glass said banning books can be counterproductive.

“When books are kept in the shadows, they create a lore; a stigma is created around them,” she said. “When we make them open to people, people can make the choice to read them and see how they feel about them and how it best fits with their family and their lives.”

Categories: Lancaster, News, Top Stories