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Banned Books Exhibit

Dates: September 18, 2010 - October 19, 2010

Location:   Main Library

Contact: Rebecca Blakiston


Celebrate your freedom to read at the University Libraries during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 – Oct. 2. Observed since 1982, Banned Books Week is an annual event promoted by the American Library Association that serves to celebrate the freedom to read and to remind Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

Banned Books Exhibit
What are some of the most frequently challenged books? Why was a book challenged? What groups led the challenge? All of these issues and more are explored in the Banned Books exhibit at the Main Library, 1510 E. University Blvd., on display from Sept. 18 – Oct. 21.

A highlight of this exhibit is the classic American novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Challenged for its use of language and racial themes, the year 2010 is the 50th anniversary of this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The exhibit also brings a local focus to the challenged book debate by exploring recent legislation regarding ethnic studies education in Arizona.

The exhibit was curated by the student-led Progressive Librarians Guild, the University Libraries, and the local chapter of REFORMA, an association to promote library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.

Related Banned Book Week Events

Banned Books Free Movie Screening of To Kill a Mockingbird
Sept. 28, Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m. at the Gallagher Theater in the Student Union Memorial Center

Enjoy a free screening of the film To Kill a Mockingbird, the 1962 film adaption of the classic American novel written by Harper Lee. The novel has been banned or challenged in both middle and high schools on at least 15 documented occasions due to language and racial themes. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three:  Best Actor (Gregory Peck), Best Art Direction, and Best Adapted Screenplay.    

The screening will begin with a short LGBT film that was directed by Jamie Lee, an Information Resources and Library Science master’s student (find out more about her here: http://sirls.arizona.edu/node/2579).

Banned Books Read Out/Speak Out: Modern forms of censorship read-out and panel discussion
Sept. 30, Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Main Library

The event will begin with refreshments and opening comments from the organizers, followed by a "Read Out!" where campus and community members are invited to read passages from their favorite challenged materials. A panel discussion about the importance of access to diversity of ideas in a democratic society concludes the program.

Speak Out Panelists:

Richard DiRusso, Head of Collection Development, Pima County Public Library
Agnes Griffen, former Director, Tucson-Pima Public Library (now Pima County Public Library)
Kay Mathiesen, Assistant Professor, UA School of Information Resources and Library Science
David Robinson, Associate Professor, UA Department of English

Related coverage: Zocalo, Tucson Weekly