We Read Banned Books! (Out Loud, in Public and Online)


Colgate Bookstore news

By Heather Elia

(Hamilton, NY – Sept. 2011) The Hamilton Public Library and the Colgate Bookstore are sponsoring the annual Banned Book Read-Out Monday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Hamilton Public Library, 13 Broad St.

Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Hamilton Public Library.

The Banned Book Readout will feature community members from the village of Hamilton and surrounding communities, Colgate University and the MidYork Library system reading passages from their favorite banned or challenged books.

Each reading will be followed by discussion and questions from the audience.

Some of the readers will include:

* Chris Rossi, community member and event emcee

* Beverly Choltco-Devlin, MidYork Library System, giving an introduction and over-view on banned books

* Heather Elia, Colgate Bookstore

* David Hollis, community member

* David and Clara Lantz, Colgate faculty and staff

* Margaret Miller, Hamilton Mayor, Lifelong Learners and Fortnightly Club

* Xavia Andromeda Publius, Colgate student

* Kathy Sabino, Hamilton Central School teacher

* Isadora Schaller, Hamilton Central School student

For the complete list of this year’s guest readers and their selections, or for more information about the Banned Book Read-Out, colgatebookstore.com/banned.

In addition to attending the local event, the public is invited to participate in a national Virtual Banned Books Read-Out by reading aloud on video from their favorite banned or challenged book.

During the week of Sept. 19, Library and Bookstore staff will be available with camcorders to record participants’ chosen selections (of two minutes or less). Videos will then be submitted to a dedicated YouTube channel sponsored by the American Booksellers for Freedom of Expression and the American Library Association.

Interested participants should call the library (315-824-3060) or the Colgate Bookstore (315-228-6944) to make an appointment to record their video submission.

Observed nationally since 1982, Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Book censorship of all kinds – even book-burning – continues today. Challenges may come from parents, teachers, clergy members, elected officials or organized groups and arise due to objections to language, violence, sexual or racial themes or religious viewpoint, to name just a few.

In 2010 alone, the American Library Association counted 380 challenges.

Heather Elia is marketing coordinator for the Colgate Bookstore.

1 comment to We Read Banned Books! (Out Loud, in Public and Online)

  • Glenda

    The new big thing being put forth to ban seems to be “Keeley Thomson: Demon Girl” by K.L. Byron

    Kids are passing it around, probably in the Christian community, which is getting some heat. It’s pretty anti-religious, but the Christian right seems to be responding like it’s Harry Potter on crack.

    It’s a young adult thing, and I read it… I see why their mad, but I don’t think that it should be censored.

    Available online, which is the new book thing, I guess. That makes it hard to ban.

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