Two days before Merritt Library Branch Manager Deborha Merrick was scheduled to burn banned books, she was halted by the effort of the community.
“People came in and said they didn’t want any books burned,” she said. “I didn’t have a single person come out and say that burning books would be a good thing.”
The stint ran from Feb. 26 to March 3 as a part of Freedom to Read Week.
Each person was only allowed to save one book and altogether 47 books were saved in total.
The pile represented books that have been banned in the past, but have since been placed back onto library and bookstore shelves.
“We wanted to get the word out there that a banned book might as well be a burned book,” Merrick said.
People throughout the community were curious about the idea that a librarian would burn a book, Merrick said.
“I’m so happy, because if people in the community didn’t stand up, I don’t know what I would have done.”
A few examples of books that have been burned in the past include, “Little Women,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Catcher in the Rye,” “The Holy Bible” and “Harry Potter.”
“Freedom to Read Week” is meant to encourage people to affirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, a human right guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.