DES MOINES, Iowa- Beaverdale Books said that they are celebrating the freedom to read by hosting a Banned Book Festival at the Franklin Event Center on Saturday.

This comes after Senate File 496 restricted school literature. According to the law, books that depict sex acts should be removed from schools.

Jan Danielson Kaiser is the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Beaverdale Books. She said that after the law, these books that were banned increased in sales.

Last summer, Mississippi held a banned book festival. According to Kaiser, that event inspired Beaverdale Books to create one here in Iowa.

She said, “I think it’s just really important that people are informed, educated, that they make good arguments on either side… Our goal is to have these books available that people want to read. It’s just that simple.”

They started the day by reading the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, which was written in Des Moines.

Two panel discussions also took place today. The first was a School Board Panel Discussion, and the other featured local organizations, like One Iowa, Iowa Freedom of Information Council, and Annie’s Foundation.

Authors of banned books also joined in on the discussion. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, who wrote And Tango Makes Three joined virtually. Ashley Hope Perez, author of Out of Darkness, was the keynote speaker.