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Libraries' Banned Books Week Activities: Sept 27 -- Oct 3, 2009

© iStockphoto/JohnWeise

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

Books are usually challenged with the best intentions--to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. Throughout history, more and different kinds of people and groups of all persuasions, for all sorts of reasons, have attempted--and continue to attempt--to suppress anything that conflicts with or anyone who disagrees with their own beliefs. Most of the books featured during Banned Books Week were not banned, thanks to the efforts of librarians to maintain them in their collections.

Banned Books Week provides opportunities to reflect on the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, while drawing attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society. The Rutgers University Libraries are proud to mark Banned Books Week, for a second year in a row, with a series of events open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Banned Books Video Podcasts:

Beginning September 28, 2009, visit the 2009 Banned Books Week page (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/events/banned_books_09/banned_books_09.shtml) to see and hear faculty, staff, and students from across the University reading from their favorite challenged books.

Faculty Panel Discussions:

Academic and Intellectual Freedom Climate on Campus--Are our Freedoms Secure in the Next Generation?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Pane Room, Alexander Library
College Avenue Campus

Panelists:
Jonathan Alger, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Rutgers University
Rudolph M. Bell, Professor, History, SAS
Nancy Kranich, Faculty Librarian
Jeanne E. Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Planning and Organizational Research, moderator

I Know Why the Caged Book Sings - Reading and Identity
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Pane Room, Alexander Library
College Avenue Campus

Panelists:
Melissa Gasparotto, Faculty Librarian
Michael Joseph, Faculty Librarian
Lara Saguisag, Rutgers University Presidential Fellow pursuing PhD in Childhood Studies
Vibiana Cvetkovic, Faculty Librarian, moderator

Movie Nights at the Library:

Fahrenheit 451° (1966)
Monday, September 28, 2009
4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Scholarly Communication Center,
Teleconference Lecture Hall,
Alexander Library, College Avenue Campus

Fahrenheit 451°(1966) based on novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury. Directed by François Truffaut (his first color film, first and only English language film); Produced by Lewis M. Allen; Screenplay by Jean-Louis Ricard, François Truffaut. Discussion following the screening facilitated by Kevin Mulcahy, Faculty Librarian.

Salt of the Earth (1954)
Friday, October 2, 2009
4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Scholarly Communication Center,
Teleconference Lecture Hall,
Alexander Library, College Avenue Campus

Salt of the Earth (1954), blacklisted American film made during the height of the McCarthy era by a group of blacklisted filmmakers who were among the best the brightest Hollywood talent of the day. The film is based on a 1950 strike by zinc miners in Silver City, NM. Directed by Herman Biberman; Produced by Paul Jarrico, Sonja Dahl Biberman, Adolfo Barela; Screenplay by Michael Wilson, Michael Biberman. Discussion following the screening facilitated by Donna Schulman, Faculty Librarian.

Paul Robeson Library on the Rutgers-Camden campus
Presents a Reading of the Most Challenged Book of 2008:
And Tango Makes Three

September 29, 2009
12:10 to 1:20 pm

And Tango Makes Three was challenged in school districts all over the United States. Parents claimed that it was unsuitable for young readers, promoted an anti-family point of view, and was thematically of a highly sexual nature.

This highly controversial story of forbidden love behind bars will be read by Paul Robeson Reference Librarian, Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic. An in-depth discussion and analysis will be led by Mary Krebs Flaherty, M.A., English (Rutgers Camden),  &  Senior Administrative Assistant in the Camden FMS Department.

Parents nationwide demanded that this book be removed from library shelves. Are some books simply too shocking to allow children to read? Come hear the story and decide for yourself.

Posted September 4, 2009; September 18, 2009