Valley Cottage Library celebrates Banned Books Week for the first time

As part of the day, people read banned or challenged books for a read-a-thon. 

Diane Caruso

Oct 3, 2023, 10:07 PM

Updated 192 days ago

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The Valley Cottage Library hosted several activities on Tuesday as part of the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. 
While it has been an annual event for more than 40 years, this was the library's first time participating in it News 12 is told one reason is because there have been efforts to get books off shelves in Rockland. 
“We want to sort of reconfirm our dedication to everybody’s right to read and not limit anybody’s worldview," said Katie Karkheck, one of the organizers and a library employee.
As part of the day, people read banned or challenged books for a read-a-thon. News 12 spoke with Alice Kintisch, of Nyack, who read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving. It was been banned in many states for its stance on religion. 
“I was never censored as a child. I don’t censor my children, what they read. And I feel it’s very important that everyone has the freedom to read whatever is written," said Kintisch.
Dozens of artists recreated book covers that were then turned into trading cards with information about the book including why it was deemed controversial. The artwork will be on display at the library until the end of October. 
The American Library Association found that a record number of more than 2,500 books were targeted for censorship in 2022 since they began tracking data decades ago. 


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