Library will play matchmaker between readers and controversial tomes.
By Juan Anthony Rodriguez
The librarians might just have your perfect match. Let them fix you up on a date with a past, one with a fair share of run-ins with the naysayers for violations of good taste and decency.
Hook-ups with the bad boys and girls of literature are on the third floor of Moody Learning Center Sept. 22-25, coinciding with National Banned Book Week.
Celebrate free speech and freedom of choice with literature that was once prohibited, challenged or has been the subject of social debate content deemed graphic.
So take advantage of your rights and go on a date with a banned book.
Librarian Celita DeArmond first presented Banned Book Blind Date in 2013 for Banned Books Week.
Librarians will display books chosen from the American Library Association’s list of frequently challenged books of the 21st century.
Books can be challenged on the basis of material considered “sexually explicit” or containing “offensive language” or deemed “unsuited to any age group.”
The list includes “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller.
The American Library Association catalogs reasons books are challenged, including subject matter or content perceived as being anti-ethnic or including offensive language, racism, cultural sensitivity, sexism, occult/Satanism, abortion, nudity or homosexuality.
As advertised by the name, the banned books are under wraps, disguising the cover, title and author until check-out. Then, readers will learn their date’s identity.
Each morning, librarians will put out 10 books that have been banned or challenged. “We will put out a few each day to kind of give more people a chance to participate in the event,” library assistant Leticia Alvarado said.
All the books, at one time or another, have been on the banned book list.
Participants in Banned Book Blind Date must be current students or employees with a valid college ID.
“Students will also be given a gift bag filled with goodies for a date with the book,” Alvarado said.
For more information about Banned Book Blind Date, visit Moody Learning Center or call 210-486-0554.
For more information on Banned Book Week, visit www.ala.org.
Who knows? Maybe you will find true love.
Top 10 Challenged Books of 2013
Out of 307 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom
1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.
Visit the Banned Books Week Web site at http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/.
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
The titles not included may have been banned or challenged, but the Office for Intellectual Freedom has not received any reports on them.