Banned Books Week is September 26th – 30th, and this year IU McKinney School of Law has teamed up with the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (KVML) to present a special event: “Talking About Banned Books: Negotiating Values and Conflicts.” This free event will be held one week from today on Tuesday, September 27th from 5:00 – 6:30 PM right here in the Wynne Courtroom of Inlow Hall. All are welcome to attend, but registration is required. (Bonus: This event is approved for 1.5 CLE & CME hours.) Please follow this link to register, and don’t forget to mark it in your calendar!: http://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/events/current.cfm?eid=450
Each year, the Banned Books Week Coalition–a multi-organizational alliance–promotes First Amendment rights by celebrating the freedom to read and be free from censorship. Many books are banned annually from school libraries, public libraries, and more based on content. This year’s spotlight is on Diversity, and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has provided a list of frequently challenged books by diverse authors with diverse content: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/diverse
In honor of Banned Books Week, we built a display here in the law library with diversity-themed and authored books from this list. Some of the books will seem more controversial than others, some will simply seem surprising that they have been banned, some are regarded as classic literature, others are more contemporary and even written for children, but they all have one thing in common: through the years, they have all been banned. The idea behind the display rests with the silhouettes of a person pulling another person up out of the barbed wire of banning, and both bear images of banned book covers showing that if we banned one book because we didn’t agree with the message, then we’d have to ban them all. Not everyone will agree on the merits or the message of a book, but the important take-away from Banned Books Week is that these books inspire opportunities for discussion and further awareness. With this year’s theme of Diversity, uncomfortable societal challenges can be more comfortably brought out into the light to be read and talked about, all thanks to the heroic efforts of the authors behind these banned books.
KVML is hosting multiple programs each day next week, and most of the events are located within walking distance of Inlow Hall. To check out more Banned Books Week events and visit the KVML, please follow this link: http://www.vonnegutlibrary.org/events/bannedbooksweek/