Isaiah Witta |

The Jim Dan Hill Library staff partnered with Dr. Emilee Howland, an assistant teaching professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, to host the campus’ first banned book reading.

The reading occurred Friday, Sept. 23, at the JDHL. UWS students and community members shared a passage from their favorite banned book.

Signage for the “Banned Book Reading” that was outside the JDHL | Photo by Isaiah Witta

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the national banned book week for 2022 was the week of Sept. 18 through 24. This week brought awareness to books that have been banned or challenged and why.

“When books are challenged, banned, or removed from circulation, voices are silenced,” said Howland. Books that are challenged or banned usually contain topics about LGBTQIA+, anti-police, sex education, profanity, or more, according to the ALA.

Howland teaches ENGL 460 Special Topics in Literature, here at UWS with this year’s topic being banned books.

Amanda Rosenburg-Smith, a student from ENGL 460, read a passage from “Stone Butch Blues” at this event. “I think it’s important to realize that things like this bring awareness to the issue and a lot of people don’t know that this is an issue,” said Rosenburg-Smith.

JDHL front desk had banned book bookmarks available during the event. | Photo by Isaiah Witta

Books are challenged or banned on a school-to-school basis. Fortunately, the JDHL offers banned books for students to check out. “Many books that are banned, they can check out through our library because we do not ban books,” said Emily Moran, the instructional design librarian at UWS.

The JDHL looks to continue to host a banned book reading on campus, making this an new annual event for the UWS community.