Today Explained: How Banning Books Can Backfire
Cheddar

A furious librarian has taken to TikTok after being told to remove a display for Banned Books Week.

In the viral clip posted by Mia (@miarwilson3), the school librarian said she was confronted by the head teacher when a parent complained about the collection on show.

For context, Banned Books Week is actually a thing that runs from 18-24 September.

It's an annual campaign promoted by the American Library Association (ALA) and Amnesty International to draw attention to challenged books.

Mia refused to remove the display as it aims "to bring knowledge and awareness" to "over 700 students, not one student alone." She also added that celebrating the week was in their ALA standards.

"Most libraries in the world celebrate Banned Books Week," she added.

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@miarwilson3

im painfully aware of the irony of being asked to take down a banned books display #librarybooktok


"It’s not about taking away a parent’s autonomy," she said in the video that racked over 1.3 million views. "Your kid definitely does not have to read those books. However, this is an opportunity to bring awareness and information and knowledge to kids when they might not otherwise have it."

Her boss told her to keep things "academic", to which she hit back and asked whether she should remove the other ten displays, as they include superhero books – which don't fall under that category.

The books-in-question included titles such as Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, Twilight, A Complicated Love Story Setin Space amongst others.

There are various reasons for banning or challenging them. For instance, she explained how Hunger Games was banned for its "violence and dark themes". Meanwhile, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me was challenged as it features a same sex couple.

Mia's clip created a fury in the comments, with one saying: "I wish I was a parent there so I could aggressively complain that there is no banned books display."

Another added: "How enraging that one parent thinks their opinion should change the library for the whole school."

A third simply said: "Thank you for standing up for what is right!"

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