September 21, 2017

Banned Books Week highlights McCoy Collection, buffet

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is recognizing Banned Books Week, which starts Sunday, Sept. 24, in several ways.

Banned Books Week runs through Sept. 30, but Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center already has a special display in place, featuring Ralph E. McCoy’s personal collection of First Amendment Freedoms materials. The collection traces the concept of freedom of expression in the United Kingdom and the United States from about 1600 to the present.

“The McCoy Collection is perhaps the most rich and diverse research collection of printed materials in SCRC,” Pam Hackbart-Dean, director of the center, said. “Freedom of expression has been developed and debated in many arenas in the Western world, and the materials in the McCoy Collection document such varied topics as the Popish Plot of 1678, Victoria Woodhull’s advocacy of women’s suffrage and ‘free love,’ and the legal controversy of the ‘obscene’ nature of D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover.’ Our First Amendment collection highlights many of these banned books and much more.”

The display will continue through Oct. 2 and is in the library behind Delyte’s.

Morris Library will also host the Banned Books Buffet from 10 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Each year, hundreds of attempts are made around the world to “ban” books by removing them from schools and libraries. In celebration of the freedom that people have in choosing to read all types of books and opposing intellectual censorship, the buffet features a variety of banned or challenged books for people to view or read.

Visitors can explore titles such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” Harry Potter,” and “Captain Underpants.” The display will be in the front entrance lobby area near the Abraham Lincoln bust. The event will also feature a selfie booth, buttons and bookmarks and light refreshments.

Students, faculty, staff and the general public are welcome to attend.