SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Nationwide, there’s growing pressure on schools to remove certain books from classrooms and school libraries. Earlier this year, the Rapid City Area School District pulled five books from a high school class.
A Sioux Falls organization feels important conversations need to happen first.
Reach Literacy is known for its many shelves of books and for its efforts to promote literacy.
“We’ve been working during all this time to teach adults how to read and improve literacy,” said Paige Carda, Executive Director of Reach Literacy.
The organization also holds reading events. The latest one focused on ‘Banned Book Week’ as part of National Literacy Month.
“Banned doesn’t mean they are not in existence today or that you can’t read them, it just means they might have been challenged by school districts or libraries,” Carda said.
“1984, To Kill A Mockingbird, all the people’s books- all these books that people read in high school, and even newer books have been questioned,” said Mary Kool, Bookstore Manager.
Bookstore Manager Mary Kool was an English Teacher for 25 years in South Dakota and Connecticut, many of the books being banned today are ones she used in her classroom.
“It went away for a long time- banning books but then it had a resurgence within the last few years, of people saying ‘I don’t want your kids to be reading this, not enough that my kids that shouldn’t read this but I don’t want your kids to read it either,” Kool said.
She says the event is meant to create conversations around the topics and themes of these books.
“It doesn’t matter if the book was written in 1930, 1950 or 1970, and it’s not just enough to read the book but talk about it with people and get other people’s viewpoints, so we are not all in one viewpoint,” Kool said.
Reach Literacy’s next event is called ‘Banned Books at Brews’ which will be held at the Remedy, on October 4th at 5:30. The featured book is As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.