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The Buzz

Buzz Word: Banned Books Week kicks off Sept. 23

Jill Moyer Sunday Sep 20, 2019

Harry Potter. Of Mice and Men. The Chocolate War. And Tango Makes Three. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the above titles have been banned most often in the last ten years. Are you surprised? Don’t be. These books join a long list of banned words and ideas composed by famous authors: A Separate Peace. For Whom the Bell Tolls. James and the Giant Peach. The Sun Also Rises. Frankenstein. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Heart of Darkness. Alice in Wonderland. The Wizard of Oz. Sophie’s Choice. The Lord of the Flies. While we tend to think of book banning as part of an unenlightened past, an attempt to censor ideas and creative expression is ongoing.

The theme for Banned Books Week 2019, centers around the image of a lightbulb, a strong metaphor for knowledge. Pittsburgh’s light shines through its City of Asylum Program that provides sanctuary for writers who are threatened in their own countries for the act of putting words to paper. At Waynesburg University, we also believe in the power of light; our logo features a lamp symbolically lighting our way to knowledge. The Waynesburg University Writing Center hopes to shine a light on the importance of words by celebrating the freedom to read.

Our activities include:

  1. The Reading Selfie challenge. Take a selfie while reading and upload it to our Facebook and Instagram accounts: Waynesburg Writing Center and @waynesburgwritingcenter.
  2. Also, look for three banned books that have been placed around campus. You’ll know if you find one because each will be labeled with a banned books sticker and a Waynesburg University Writing Center sticker. If you are the lucky readers who find them, the books are yours to enjoy. Please let us know you found them!
  3. When you stop into the Writing Center, make sure to pick up a banned book sticker!

If you’d like more information about the freedom to read and write, visit the ALA at and the City of Asylum Pittsburgh at