LANSING, Ill. - This week is "Banned Books Week," and one Chicago-area library is offering those books for free.
The library is celebrating the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.
Lansing Public Library in the south suburbs is offering one banned book to each person that wants one. The library ordered 75 books and half are gone, so they had to order more.
For 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community. But more recently, Banned Books Week has caught national attention.
Across the country, different groups have pushed to ban access to certain books. The American Library Association tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals.
Most targeted books were by or about Black or the LGBTQ+ community.
"It's about supporting the ALA statement of the Freedom to Read, which our board has approved here, and we support parents' rights to decide what their children will read. But they – you know — that's an individual parent's right for their individual child. So we wanted them available for all children, and all adults in the community to be able to read, to open their minds, to see other points of view, because that makes us a better society," said Lisa Korajczyk, Director of Lansing Public Library.
The books will be available until Sept. 24 or until they run out.