Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Banned Books Week Part One - The Read Out

In case you haven't caught on to the fact from tons of related posts on every social network under the sun, it's Banned Books Week. From the ALA website:

"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular."

At my college, that celebration takes the form of a Read Out. I pick some campus space outside of the library, bring a bunch of books and some snacks, let the community know where I'm going to be and what I'll have with me, and then sit back. We take turns reading passages from our favorite challenged and banned books, and discussing why they were challenged and/or banned. I always have food available - in prior years it was cookies and cider, but this year we're holding the event during lunch at the dining hall. I always have a bit of swag - usually buttons. That's it.

The first time I did this, I wasn't sure how it would go. Would people even come? It's an academic/intellectual topic, after all. I wondered if students would care. I needn't have worried, though. Students did show up, and they show up every year. It's not as well-attended as some of the other events I run, but it attracts a decent group consistently. Makes me so proud of my community, especially considering this year marks the 4th anniversary of the first Read Out.

So, what are you doing at your library and/or with your community for Banned Books Week?

1 comment:

  1. We are not doing anything. Too controversial for programming. :(