Celebrating Banned Books Essay/Art Contest

Celebrating Banned Books Essay/Art Contest

Monday, 22 August 2022 08:12

by Suzanne Moore, Wilkes County Librarian

Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign spearheaded by the American Library Association to celebrate the freedom to read.  Throughout human history, and across many countries and cultures, many books have been banned, confiscated, censored, destroyed in bonfires, had content edited out, and challenged in schools.  Also, many authors and their readers have been fined, imprisoned, threatened, assaulted and even executed for their association with banned books that were disapproved by some authorities and governments.

This year in recognition of those challenged and ‘banned’ books, Wilkes County Public Library is calling on all readers to share their thoughts with a Banned Book Essay/Art Contest. 

Why is it important to you to have the freedom to choose what you read?  We want to know. Compose a 500-word essay that reflects on one of these prompts:

  • “The vulnerable ought to be shielded from dangerous ideas.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  • In what way(s) did reading a controversial book liberate you?
  • Use examples from your chosen text, argue for the benefits of reading a potentially controversial book.
  • Explain why you feel the banning or censoring of your selected text was (not) justified for its time.

Essays may be dropped off at the library or emailed to [email protected]. Submissions will be anonymously judged by a team of librarians. Winners will be announced on September 10.

For the art contest, recreate the cover of your favorite banned book in the medium of your choice.  Art pieces must be reasonably sized, and keep in mind that they will be viewed by children.  Artwork will be displayed in the library for community voting September 5-17 and winners will be announced by September 19.

All essay/art submissions are due September 3.   Winners will receive a collection of “banned” books and may be published online, with your permission.

Save-the-date for a public reception at 6:00 p.m. on September 22 to be held at Dom’s Bakery.  Come out for refreshments and hear essays read aloud.