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Monday, September 19, 2022

We Read Banned Books: J.D. Burns

Welcome to Banned Books Week 2022. Every year for the past forty years, the book community has joined together to celebrate the freedom to read. We focus on free and open access to information and promote and support those books that have been challenged or banned, even those that we personally don't like or agree with. We've seen an unprecedented amount of challenges in 2022, many of them challenging multiple books instead of just one title. If you are a teacher or librarian and know of a book that has been challenged or banned in your area, you can report it to the Mississippi Challenged Book Index here and the American Library Association here.

We're sharing a staff member's views on a banned book every day this week and urge you to check them out, to read them, and to stand up against book challenges and bans in your local communities, schools, and libraries. 

Our Patron Services Librarian J.D. Burns chose the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. First published in 1962, the novel examines the inhumanity of institutionalization by way of a power-hungry nurse in charge of a ward at a psychiatric hospital. It has been challenged and banned across the United States for using profanity, being pornographic, and glorifying criminal activity. J.D. says,

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest eloquently reminds us that sometimes the people in charge don't necessarily have the best in mind for us, and at times rebellion is what keeps us sane. It speaks to the different sides in each of us, that in times of stress it's okay to sit back and stay silent and observe, or pick up something heavy and throw against the wall."

Censorship divides us. Books unite us. Celebrate the freedom to read.

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