September 20, 2011

Morris Library sets Constitution Day events

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- In celebration of U.S. Constitution Day 2011, Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting “Celebrating the U.S. Constitution -- Pushing the Limits:  Freedom and the First Amendment” on Sept. 21.

The event, free and open to the public, features special exhibits and a demonstration by SIUC’s Debate Team.

Ranked among the top three in the nation, the debate team will conduct a debate about the First Amendment from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Guyon Auditorium.  A reception will follow.  All of those in attendance will receive free pocketsize copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Jian Anna Xiong, government information librarian for the library, teamed with Walter Ray, political papers archivist, and Melissa Hubbard, rare book librarian, both from the Special Collections Research Center, to create the event and exhibit. 

The exhibit features two cases in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors along with another display behind Delyte’s coffee commons.  As a U.S. Federal Depository Library, Morris Library holds an extensive collection of federal documents.  In addition, the Special Collections Research Center houses a wide variety of materials relating to the Constitution and freedom of the press.  The exhibit, in place through the month of September, showcases some of these items.

The goal of “Celebrating the U.S. Constitution 2011” is to publicize the impact both historically and on American life of the U.S. Constitution as well as to increase awareness of the related materials visitors can find at Morris Library.  Sponsors include the Friends of Morris Library, Morris Library Government Documents Unit and Morris Library Special Collections Research Center.

Organizers are also developing a LibGuide for Morris Library’s website,  Serving as a centralized online resource, it will offer detailed information about documents relative to the U.S. Constitution. 

For more information about the event, contact Xiong at or by calling 618/453-7108.