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Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Although Banned Book Week officially starts on Sunday, Fortuna Library is celebrating it all month.

”Come in during September to learn about frequently banned and challenged books and to have your picture made with our lineup,” librarian Chris Cooper said.

The library set up an arrest style backdrop for visitors to get their picture taken in front of holding a sign saying, “Caught Reading Banned Books” and a banned book.

The Office of Intellectual Freedom put out a list of 464 challenges to books. The Library highlights the top 10 challenged books of 2012:

1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey. Offensive language, unsuited for age group.

2. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie. Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

3. “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher. Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.

4. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E. L. James. Offensive language, sexually explicit.

5. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Homosexuality, unsuited for age group.

6. “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini. Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.

7. “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green. Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

8. “Scary Stories” (series), by Alvin Schwartz. Unsuited for age group, violence.

9. “The Glass Castle,” by Jeanette Walls. Offensive language, sexually explicit.

10. “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison. Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

The OIF describes challenges stating, “Individuals, groups, and institutions may attempt to remove or restrict materials. This includes administrators, board members, clergy, parents, teachers, patrons, elected officials, government, pressure groups, religious groups, and more. Parents are far more likely to challenge a book.”

The American Library Association reports, “Books usually are challenged with the best intention. Challenges are often to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.”

According to OIF, “Within the past 20 years, the three most often cited reasons for challenging materials are too sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited for the age group directed.”

”Although the books in our display have been banned or challenged somewhere, they are not banned at the Fortuna Library. You are protected by the 1st Amendment and this library honors your right to intellectual freedom,” states the Fortuna Library on their Banned Book display.

To get involved in the limiting censorship and to find out more information about Freedom to Read Foundation visit www.ftrf.com.

The Fortuna Library is located at 753 14th St. and is open Tuesdays from noon to 5 p.m., Wednesdays from noon to 9 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The library is free and public having a wide selection of books, movies, and music to choose from in addition to Internet access, black and white printing, and copies.

The library was founded in 1908. For more information about the Library and their programs call 725-3460, email forhuml@co.humboldt.ca.us, or visit www.co.humboldt.ca.us/library/branches/fortuna.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Fortuna resident Gene Lodes reviews the display at the Fortuna Library celebrating Banned Books Week