Richland Library Manager explains Banned Books Week

The week celebrates books that were almost banned but remain on shelves

RICHLAND, Wash. – According to the American Library Association, over 300 books in the U.S. have been challenged. This means, people throughout the nation have asked the titles to be removed from libraries, schools or universities. Most of the challengers have stated the books contain sensitive content like LGBTQ+ matter, vulgar language and explicit situations.

Richland Library Manager Leslie Campbell Hime said it’s been a while since they’ve removed a book from their shelves.

“The majority of people really value freedom, they value the diversity that comes from the different view points in these different novels,” she said.

The ALA has a long list of books that have been challenged; classics like The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Harry Potter series, to name a few.

“Many people are surprised and take it as almost a feather in their cap when they’ve read several books that are on the banned books list,” Campbell Hime said.

On their website, the ALA said they work to end censorship and want citizens to maintain the freedom to read whatever they want. Campbell Hime said she too wants everyone to have access to classics, fiction and nonfiction books, but understands why some books may be problematic to some people.

“We will defend people’s right to read different kinds of materials but again for those who would like to bring something to our attention, we’re receptive to that also,” she said.

At the Richland Library, Leslie said they have a policy in place in case someone wants to make a complaint, but, she hopes people will continue to read historical texts and classics which could shape our future.

“That’s precisely the value of library materials where it’s history they weren’t alive then or maybe they were in a different location or emotional space, maybe they were younger and don’t fully comprehend what occurred, so it’s beautiful because you can have different perspectives from different authors on the same events.”


Read more from Madeleine Hagen:

Tri-Cities Cancer Center prepares for virtual run

Kennewick Police Department shares importance of KPD Foundation

Tri-Cities experts celebrate National Forensics Week