We read banned books! And sometimes we pose with them for promotional purposes! But mostly read!
The week of September 21st through 27th marks Banned Books Week, the annual campaign by the American Library Association (ALA) dedicated to protecting intellectual freedom and the right to read whatever you choose. Every year, individuals and groups throughout the country occasionally demand that access to certain titles be restricted, or that they be removed completely, leading to an event ALA calls a challenge. Sometimes these efforts end up being successful, leading to an outright ban. Challenges and bans of books can occur in public, K-12, university, or special libraries; retail outlets where books are sold; classrooms; and anywhere else thoughts and ideas can be encountered and considered.
To give you an idea of the scope of this, over 11,300 books have been challenged since ALA started the event in 1982. In 2013 alone, there were 307 challenges reported to ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. The total number of challenges may be higher still, but many go unreported. This year’s most frequently challenged books include a diverse group of titles ranging from Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series to 50 Shades of Grey. Click here for the list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books for each year since 2001.
This year, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is also heavily involved with Banned Books Week, highlighting the fact that comic books and graphic novels of all topics and age ranges are frequently the victim of library and classroom challenges. You can follow this link to their website for more information, frequently asked questions, and a PDF handbook featuring a cover by Bone cartoonist and author Jeff Smith (who also finds himself on this year’s Top 10 challenges list).
We know this is a busy time of year for students, faculty, and staff alike, but take the time to celebrate your intellectual freedom. Read a banned book, have an unpopular idea, and embrace the freedom of thought and expression the Constitution allows.
Thinking of Maya Angelou, who passed away this morning at the age of 86. Whether you knew her from her poems, memoirs, activism, public appearances (the 1993 inauguration of President Clinton was a big one), TV or movie appearances, music, or even just parodies of her (David Allen Grier did an amazing impression), she cast a long shadow in art and in life.
Bello Center second floor study rooms 203 – 211 (the ones encircling the Grand Hall) and 215 & 216 (the two inside the quiet area) will be unavailable for booking or student use as of Thursday, May 1st, and will remain unavailable for the rest of the summer. Rooms 201 and 202 will remain available for the time being (at least through July, when they will be used as offices for a series of summer conferences), though this is subject to change.
The study rooms in question will serve as temporary office space for our colleagues in University Relations, who are being displaced by the latest round of summer construction in the Unistructure. These rooms will reopen for student use in the Fall 2014 semester.
In the meantime, we’ll do what we can to help you find alternative spaces to work and study during this busy period, whether elsewhere in the library or around campus. If you have suggestions for good study locations, please share them with us so we can pass the word onto others.
Thank you for your understanding, and best of luck with final exams.
Obviously we like to provide everyone with space to study. But there are times when the library cannot accommodate everyone’s study needs – maybe the study rooms are filled up, there’s an event going on, you need something beyond our normal operating schedule, etc. What we want to know is, what are your favorite alternate study spots on campus?
With final exams coming up, we want to be able to direct people to the places that best serve their needs, so we’re interested in hearing where you go when you can’t find a study room? Do you go elsewhere in the library? Do you find a spot in the Fisher Center or the Unistructure? Do you just sit under a tree somewhere? Let us know, either in the comments below, on Facebook, on Twitter, by text (401-595-7306), by phone (401-232-6125), or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lots of big things happening at your very own Douglas and Judith Krupp Library, and you can read all about it in the spring edition of our newsletter.
New department names! A new librarian! New databases! New books! New locations for supplies! How can you possibly hope to keep track of all these changes without a scorecard? Read up on all of this newness, as well as looks back at the recent Geek the Library campaign and some Bryant history, a profile on one of our student workers, and more.
Click here to read the newsletter online and stay in the know!
Lou Reed was a very… particular person, let’s say, and he didn’t suffer the people and institutions he considered to be fools gladly by ANY stretch of the imagination, but he was also (and for very good reasons) one of the most highly respected musicians and speakers of the 20th century, a supporter of the arts and libraries, and one of the more recognizable faces of the Geek the Library campaign, so we cannot let his passing this weekend go without notice. Thank you for your support Lou. Thank you for keeping things interesting. And most especially thank you for the music.
And if you’re reading this and you aren’t familiar with Lou’s output either as a solo artist or as a member of the Velvet Underground, go and get yourself educated! Either “Loaded” or one of the many greatest hits compilations are the best place to start with the Velvets, and everyone will tell you that “Transformer” is the best place to go for his solo work and in this case, everyone is right.
So far we’ve geeked American history, autism, jazz, soul music divas, little plastic bricks (you know the ones), and foam sports balls (to be clear, at least one of us so far has been a dog). And there’s more to come… be sure to check back with this blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed to see more!
And remember, everyone geeks something, and the library can help connect you with information and resources about it all, and just about anything else for that matter. Academic help, books, DVDs, iPads, Kindles, laptops, computer accessories, printing, scanning, quiet study space… we’ve got you covered.