Throughout history, across Montana and the nation, thousands of books have been banned over the years. The Great Falls Public Library set up a display of previously banned books to celebrate October 1st through October 7th being "Banned Books Week."
According to library director Susie McIntyre books have been and continue to be challenged and banned for a variety of reasons.
“[Banned Books Week] is a week where we think about what belongs in libraries and what people should have access to read and think about,” said McIntyre.
Banned Books Week is observed nationally. Libraries across Montana and the United States set up displays of books that have been previously banned or challenged to open conversation about the significance of people having the opportunity to decide what books they feel are appropriate to consume or not.
“Here at Great Falls Public Library, we believe we have a rich and diverse community that deserves a rich and diverse collection and that it's up to each individual and each family to decide what's right for them,” said McIntyre. “We absolutely support every parent deciding what their child should read, but not what somebody else's child should read.”
There have also been numerous Montana authors who have had their books challenged and banned over the years. McIntyre said the Great Falls Public Library believes every individual and every community should feel seen and represented, whether other people outside of those communities agree with the books or not.
“In different communities, different people object to books. A. B. Guthrie's The Big Sky has been challenged and banned, taken out of some people stuff. A lot of different books that deal with indigenous communities and difficult parts of our past have been challenged and banned,” McIntyre said.
The display will be set up through October 7th near the entrance of the library on the first floor. All of the books on display are available for check out.
The Great Falls Public Library is located at 301 Second Avenue North; click here to visit the website.