Banned Book Week at Linfield’s library hopes to start a campus-wide discourse

Riley Omonaka, News Editor

This week, from September 18 to 24, Linfield University’s Nicholson Library is on a rebellious streak. They’re celebrating banned book week.

Every day outside of the on-campus Starbucks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ariadne Will can be found sitting at a table cluttered with copies of the Handmaid’s Tale, candy, condoms, and period products. All the table’s treasures are available for free to passersby. The books were graciously donated by “friends of Nicholson Library”. Will hopes to get students and faculty alike talking about why banned books are essential.

“Books are often banned by parents who deem books unfit for children for things like violence, profanity, and LGBTQ representation,” she said.

Library hosts blind date with a book. Taken by Abbie Bach

The library is also hosting a blind date with a book event. Books will be wrapped to hide their covers, but labeled by genre and the reasons they were banned. Students can check these books out and decide for themselves if their content is potentially harmful to young minds.

Nicholson Library also has a whiteboard to facilitate student discourse surrounding the importance of banned books. Students can grab a marker and ask questions, comment on their favorite banned book, or simply write their opinions.

For Will, raising awareness about banned books is a personal cause.

“I’m an English major who was raised by a family of English majors. I was taught to appreciate literature,” Will said. “Books help me stay a critical thinker and stay empathetic to experiences that I have not lived. I think it’s important for democracy to be exposed to ideas and walks of life I could never have experienced otherwise.”Stay tuned to the library’s social media for updates on this and other events. Find them on Instagram and Twitter @linlibraries.