Monday, September 27, 2010

Pittsburgh Celebrates Banned Books Week

Pittsburghers will celebrate National Banned Books Week in Oakland Monday night with an event featuring readings and a sing-along of banned books and songs.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes says the “FREADom” program salutes the hundreds of books that are banned or challenged each year.

While a ban occurs when a library forbids a book, a challenge happens when someone writes a letter of complaint requesting a library remove a book. Thinnes says a book could be challenged for a variety of reasons.

“Some people don’t think it’s appropriate due to religious reasons or that it’s not considered family-friendly. It might have what they consider violence or be of a sexually explicit nature, or contain offensive language.”

Thinnes says there were 460 challenges to books across America last year. Among the top ten most common challenges were Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.”

Local acts like the Amish Monkeys, the Highway Puppet Theater, and Temujin the Storyteller will read from their favorite banned or challenged works.

The local American Civil Liberties Union is also asking attendees to email banned song ideas for the sing-along.

The celebration is free and open to the public at the Frick Fine Arts Building Auditorium at 7:00 Monday night.

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