POST FALLS, Idaho — The community library network of Kootenai and Shoshone counties is celebrating Banned Books Week by displaying books from their collection that have been previously banned from library shelves.
Those books included "Where the Wild Things Are," the Harry Potter series, and "The Handmaid's Tale."
Banned Books Week is a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about the importance of the country's freedom to read. Community Library Network Spokeswoman Anne Abrams said the slogan for the week is "free the books, don't let censorship keep you in the dark."
The books displayed in the eight community libraries are decorated with prison inmate jackets to symbolize that banned books should be freed.
"We want people to choose for themselves, choose for their kids and find literature that helps them succeed," Abrams said.
Anyone who disagrees with a book being available at a public library can challenge the decision to keep it on the shelves. The process requires research by library staff to determine if the challenge is strong enough to ban the book.
Abrams said that typically a book is challenged because people disagree with it's underlying values. But she said that libraries are meant to provide resources, not take them away.
"We hate to disappoint people or have people upset with us, but it's still – intellectual freedom overrides all those concerns," Abrams said.
The celebration lasts until September 28th and will include several readers theater performances at select library locations throughout the week.