PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)–School systems and libraries are seeing an increase in banned books nationwide.

Have you ever read The Handmaid’s Tale or Fahrenheit 451, if you have, chances are you’ve read other banned or challenged books. Over the years, books were and are still being banned for controversial or obscene topics.

Elizabeth Chandler the Director of Marsh Library at Concord University says the issues that typically get books banned haven’t changed much over the years.

“The two main issues right now that we see the most reasons that books have been banned and that’s for LGBTQIA+ reasons and also for race issues like All Boys Aren’t Blue and the 1619 Project,” Chandler said.

Chandler said the library buys books listed on the American Library Association’s Top Banned Books for the previous year so students can read them for themselves.

Tammy Dotson, the owner of The Hatter’s Bookshop on Mercer Street in Princeton said she understands why some parents don’t want their children reading certain books but only to an extent.

“I agree to a certain point that younger children do not need to be exposed to certain things, they need to be mature enough to understand what it is that they’re reading but to completely ban a book from the library or a high school library. Children who are in high school by that time they’re able to have a better understanding of what they’re reading and make their own decisions as to how they feel about that,” Dotson said.

Over at the Princeton Public Library, Director Interim, Laura Buchanan created a Banned Book Club for young adults in the pandemic to read and research banned and challenged books.

She said the goal of the club is to encourage readers to come up with their own judgment of a book.

“I wanted to give them the power of a voice. We take it away from them all too often. They have to follow the rules, they can’t say this so it was meant to be a safe place that they can express their opinions on censorship and what they feel they are capable of handling and reading,” Buchanan said.