Fantastical characters from banned books gathered in the Mary and Jeff Bell Library on Sept. 27 to honor Banned Books Week. Theatre majors and minors dressed in theatrical costumes that represented different books while informing students of why they were banned.
Jennifer Anderson, from Marketing and User Engagement, spoke about why this event is so important.
“It’s a celebration that happens every year,” says Anderson. “Banned Books Week is really exciting for us. It’s us kind of celebrating our freedom to read and engaging the campus community in a conversation about censorship. It still happens every day.
“We also have a scavenger hunt going on for some prizes, which kind of helps our students learn their way around the library and find different places that they may not explore on their own. And kind of lots of opportunities to get engaged.”
Katelynn Vaughan, Costume Designer and Junior Theatre major with an emphasis in Tech and Design, spoke about the different characters featured.
“Today, these students are all dressed up as characters that have been banned in books to kind of resurrect, and relive and draw attention to why they were banned. Some of these books are books that have been turned into movies now and things that we love.
“We associate ‘Where’s Waldo?’ with a book that we see in kindergarten or at the doctor’s office. ‘Harry Potter’ has been turned into a wonderful movie series. Same thing with ‘The Hunger Games,’ and we want to know why these books were banned, and that’s kind of to bring light to that. We don’t know that these books were banned until you say it.”
It was shocking to find what books were banned and for what reason. Some favorites were ‘Where’s Waldo?’ for featuring the side of a woman’s breast, and ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ for elevating animals to the level of humans.
This event is always a treat to see. If you missed out this year, don’t worry! It’ll be back soon. Banned Books Week will continue until Sept. 29, so make sure to check out the Mary and Jeff Bell Library to find out more about banned books