Banned Books Week is Here!

Did you know that September 28th-October 3rd, 2009, is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week?

The week celebrates the freedom we have to express our opinions— even if the opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. Banned Books Week brings attention to the challenges that have been presented to this freedom by celebrating books which have been attempted to be banned in libraries across the country.

This year, the Student Activities Office and Brown Library are partnering on our campus to recognize Banned Books Week and the freedom to read!

Check out the following events:

ALL WEEK

  • Participate in the Word-of-the-Week Contest. Stop by the library this week to see the featured word and create a clever and funny definition for it. (We want your definition of the word, not the real definition.) Contest entrants get a chance to win a cool t-shirt from the American Library Association. Students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to participate! (Entries must be recieved by 3pm on Friday, October 2nd. There will be one student winner and one faculty/staff winner, and they will be notified this Friday.)
  • Visit Our Display on the Main Floor. See some examples of books that have been banned and find out the reasons behind it.

MONDAY, 9/28

  • Make Your Own Photo Bookmark. 10am-2pm, Brown Library steps. First 100 participants receive a free banned book. Choice of following titles: The Kite Runner, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, To Kill a Mockinbird, Fahrenheit 451, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

WEDNESDAY, 9/30

  • Papermaking. 10am-2pm, Brown Library steps. Use the art of papermaking to create your own bookmark or sheet of paper, using a variety of materials.

THURSDAY, 10/1

  • Film Showing: Good Night, and Good Luck. 1pm, library classroom. This award-winning film stars George Clooney and portrays the drama of journalists who provided critical commentary against popular opinion of the time. 93 minutes.

FRIDAY, 10/2

  • Word-of-the-Week Contest winners chosen!

…and start reading now for the upcoming Banned Book Club! The first meeting will be Wednesday, October 21, at 6pm (location tbd). The book to be discussed will be The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Roy both won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and faced an obscenity trial in her native India for this, her first novel. Club open to students, faculty, and staff.

The Brown Library has many books which have been challenged and banned, including:

  • Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Call number E185.97.A56 A3 1971
  • Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Call number PS3537.T3234 O4
  • Voltaire. Candide, or, Optimism. Call number PQ2082.C3 E5 2005
  • Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Call number PS3563.O8749 B55 1993
  • Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Call number PR6023.A93 L2
  • Walker, Alice. The Color Purple: A Novel. Call number PS3573.A425 C6 1982
  • Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Call number PS3537.A426 C32 1961
  • King, Stephen. Christine. Call number PS3561.I483 C4 1983
  • Eliot, George. Silas Marner; : The Weaver of Raveloe. Call number PR4670.A1 1967

For a short history of attempts at censoring books, please see The Online Books Page Presents Banned Books Online at the University of Pennsylvania. Included in this page are links to the actual texts of these works, available for free online.

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