Just recently, Olivet College recognized Banned Book Week. The annual event is celebrated during the last week of September.
It was started in 1982 to bring attention to the issues that censorship can create. The books affected are texts that people want to remove or restrict from libraries and schools for the unpopular or controversial views that they discuss.
This year the college decided to celebrate Banned Book Week a little differently. Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer, professor of Humanities, organized a campus wide scavenger hunt with the English and Writing majors and The Garfield Lake Review. Between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1, banned books were hidden across campus for students to find. Clues to find the books were sent out through email.
According to Hendershott-Kraetzer, he came up with the idea after reading an article about Washington D.C.’s main library organizing a similar scavenger hunt throughout the city of Washington, D.C. He decided to order 20 banned books, hide them throughout campus, and send out clues.
Emily Dorn, a sophomore, was happy when she found one of the books while looking for something for one of her professors.
There was a lot of positive feedback from students about the scavenger hunt. Jenna Braschler, freshman, said, "I really liked it a lot because some of the books were books that I had recognized or read before."
Katie Asselin said, "I really enjoyed it."
There were difficulties with writing the clues, but Hendershott-Kraetzer said all the energy in organizing the event was, "Well worth the effort. I’m super happy about it." He did say that he would like to find a more efficient way to get the clues out to students, and is planning on doing the scavenger hunt next year as well.
Some of the banned books included "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" and "Catcher in the Rye".