Danielle Smith, Producer
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
In recognition of Banned Book Week, the “Banned Books Tour” bookmobile will be in the Keystone State today. Pennsylvania ranks third among states with the most banned books, according to PEN America.
Nina Esposito-Visgitis, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers president, are excited that the bookmobile will be visiting the Helen S. Faison Arts Academy, a K-5th school in Homewood.
“Best thing of all is, we’re going to be giving out over 1,000 free books to the students there. And it was so cute,” she said. “The principal wanted us to get there early so the kids could come and shop for the book they really want. “
Esposito-Visgitis added in Pennsylvania, the impact of banning books cannot be ignored, as it stifles teaching, hinders students’ intellectual growth and obstructs the path to understanding the world in its entirety.
Esposito-Visgitis emphasized the tour will feature thought-provoking discussions, author talks and readings from banned books. She said her organization’s interest in the bookmobile stems from the city of Pittsburgh’s acceptance of writers exiled from their own countries.
“We are an international hub for City of Asylum,” she continued. “The City of Asylum, I’ve been to the bookstore. They have homes. It is an international hub for exiled authors, artists, musicians to live here. “
Esposito-Visgitis said the City of Asylum helps the artists continue their creative work and rebuild their lives. The New Republic “Banned Book Tour” is on the road until October 28th and will also stop in New York, Virginia and the District of Columbia.