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Hewes Library taking part in national Banned Books Week

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College’s Hewes Library is celebrating the nationwide “Banned Books Week” through Sept. 30 with a display of historically banned and challenged books, as well as “releasing” free copies of challenged and banned books into the Monmouth College campus.

The free copies of titles such as The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini will be hidden in plain sight in common areas of campus as well as residence halls. With eye-catching wrappers and bookmarks explaining the reasons why the novels were challenged, Hewes Library staff hopes that students will consider the importance of the freedom to read and engage with the books.

“Students may choose to read the book and/or pass it on, and hopefully consider the harms of censorship,” said Public Services Librarian Anne Giffey. “Hundreds of books are challenged each year in schools and libraries across the United States.”

Giffey said 323 challenges were reported to the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2016.

“It is up to all of us to protect our freedom to read,” she said.

To learn more about the books reported as challenged in 2016, go to, visit Hewes Library’s display and be on the lookout for the free books on campus.