Library event pairs students with banned books

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Rendezvous with provocative prose to fight censorship this week.



By Valerie Champion

Dating can present a real challenge for students, and so can deciding what to read with such a busy schedule.

However, this week librarians are here to help on both fronts.

The library at this college is celebrating Banned Books Week Sept. 26-29 with its fourth annual Blind Date with a Banned Book event.

Students can find 10 books per day to choose from at the circulation desk on the third floor of Moody Learning Center.

Librarians wrap the books in brown paper bags and red tape for anonymity. Reference Librarian Celita Avila said once students check a book out, they will be given a tote bag filled with “date night goodies,” such as candy and bookmarks, to take home and enjoy with their books.

Books for the event were chosen based on their placement on the American Library Association’s 10 Most Challenged Books of 2015, which includes titles ranging from “Fifty Shades of Grey,” challenged for its sexual content, to “The Holy Bible,” which was challenged on religious grounds.

According to the ALA website, the list includes “reports from libraries, schools and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country.” Historically banned books that have shaped American society, such as “The Catcher in the Rye,” were also included in the selection for this year’s event. The J.D. Salinger novel has often been banned or challenged because of its explicit language and sexual content.

Avila said librarians are the vanguard when it comes to making sure books of all subject matter are accessible to all readers. She said as a higher learning institution, this college and others like it hold themselves to a higher academic standard and meet the challenge of examining multiple viewpoints when it comes to literary selection.

“We can’t take that freedom for granted,” she said. “A threat of censorship anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere.”

Students can find more information about Banned Books Week by visiting




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