September 20, 2016

Library to host Banned Books Week events

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library is hosting two special events in recognition of The American Library’s Association’s annual Banned Books Week, which is Sept. 25-Oct. 1. The events mark the library’s dedication to protecting intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights.

Come to Morris Library between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sept. 26 and visit the Banned Books Selfie Station at the north entrance, near the large Abraham Lincoln bust. There, you can pose for a photo with a banned book and the photos will be posted to #BannedBooksSIUC. In addition, all who participate will be entered into a drawing for a Banned Books Week prize.

There will also be a banned books reading from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sept. 28. Everyone is welcome to stop by in front of the library and read brief selections from their favorite banned books. Those who wish can also pose for a photo for #BannedBooksSIUC. In the event of rain, the reading will move indoors to the library rotunda.

“By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship,” Pam Hackbart-Dean, director of the library’s Special Collections Research Center, said.

While books have been and continue to be banned, Hackbart-Dean noted that Banned Books Week recognizes that in the majority of cases “the books have remained available and this happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read. This week highlights the value of free and open access to information and support for the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”