Want to know a secret?

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As you may have heard, Frank Warren, creator of the PostSecret blog project, will be speaking in the Main Gym on Thursday, December 4th, at 7 p.m.  Before the show, a gallery of submitted “secrets,” creatively designed postcards which people use to anonymously reveal hidden aspects of their lives, will be on display.  We have blank postcards and a submission box here at the library if you’d like to make your own, as well as a copy of Frank’s first PostSecret book collection, PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives, on display for your perusing pleasure.  It’s set up on the counter by the second row of computers on the main floor.  You can’t miss it… just look for the big secret.

Be bold.  Get creative.  Share a little bit of yourself (good or bad) in the comfort of anonymity.  And come on… at this point in the semester, a fun and cathartic art project might be just what you need.

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It’s Banned Books Week!

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“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” – Harry S. Truman

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.” – Thomas Jefferson

All of this is our way of letting you know that this week (September 27th through October 4th) is Banned Books Week.  According to the American Library Association (ALA), this 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.” (via)

Celebrate your freedom and read a banned book!  Looking for some examples?  Here’s the ALA’s list of most frequently challenged books of 2007 (via):

1 ) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2 ) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3 ) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4 ) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint

5 ) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons:  Racism

6 ) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7 ) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8 ) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit

9 ) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10)  “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Also Elsewhere on Campus: “Super Size Me” director Spurlock to speak.

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From the press release:

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to speak at Bryant

Best known for “Super Size Me,” Spurlock’s talk is the first event of the new Student Arts and Speaker Series.

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, director of “Super Size Me,” a documentary that examined the health effects of eating nothing but McDonald’s for a month, will present a talk on Tuesday, September 23, at 7 p.m. in Janikies Theatre. The event is sponsored by the new Student Arts and Speaker Series (SASS).

Students and staff members can pickup tickets in the Center for Student Involvement on the third floor of the Bryant Center. Members of the community can reserve tickets beginning on Monday, September 21 by calling (401) 232-6160.

Click here or here for more information about the event and related programs.

Elsewhere on campus: “Deadliest Catch” producer to speak

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From the press release:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
7 P.M.
JANIKIES THEATRE

Paul Gasek will speak about his experiences as an executive producer for the Discovery Channel and discuss the role of television in promoting the study of nature. He is an Emmy award winning executive producer and the senior science editor for the Discovery Channel. He has overseen hundreds of hours of programming, including “Deadliest Catch,” “Discovery Project Earth,” and “Engineering the Universe,” to name a few. The current projects that he will discuss and show clips from include “Global Warming: What You Need to Know” with Tom Brokaw and “Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy,” a work-in-progress series on searching for valuable shipwrecks.

They don’t let me out of the library very often, but I’ll have to make an effort to get over and check this out.

Reunion @ Homecoming

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Welcome back, alumni and friends, to Bryant University for the 2008 Reunion @ Homecoming.

Click here for a complete schedule of the weekend’s events.

And when you visit the Douglas & Judith Krupp Library, be sure to check out the exhibit of various bits of past and present Bryant memorabilia in the glass cases in the lobby area between the library and the Heidi and Walter Stepan Grand Hall.  It looks really fantastic.

Historian David McCullough to speak at Bryant

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From the press release:

“Historian and award-winning author David McCullough will speak on Thursday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Chace Wellness and Athletic Center for the Trustee Speaker Series. The lecture, titled “The Presidency,” will be followed by a question-and-answer session, reception and book-signing.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Tickets can be picked up in the Bryant Center Information Desk. The general public can reserve tickets by calling (401) 232-6053.

McCullough, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning biography John Adams has been turned into a miniseries that began airing on HBO in March, has been widely acclaimed as a master of the art of narrative history. In December 2006 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. He twice has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.”

If you’d like to brush up on the man’s work beforehand, here’s a huge HELIN catalog listing of books, documentaries, and other projects with which he has been involved.

Former Pres. George H.W. Bush is this year’s commencement speaker.

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From the press release, which sums things up more efficiently than I could:

“George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, will present Bryant University’s undergraduate Commencement address during ceremonies on Saturday, May 17.

Mr. Bush is one of four honorary degree recipients this year. The former president, along with Chinese entrepreneur Fan Jianchuan, developer of China’s largest private museum, and Roxanne Spillet, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of America, will receive honorary degrees on May 17. John Warren, chairman and CEO of Washington Trust and Washington Trust Bancorp, will present the keynote address and receive an honorary degree on Thursday, May 15, during the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

Updates regarding Commencement 2008 will be posted on the Bryant Web site.”