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Sept. 27: Banned Books Read-Out

Start the conversation about censorship and freedom to read

Speak out against censorship during the University of Delaware’s fifth annual Banned Books Read-Out on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Each year, hundreds of books are “challenged.” When people challenge a book, they are attempting to remove or restrict access of materials from others, subsequently threatening freedom of speech and choice. But due to the efforts of librarians, students and readers who stand up for their freedom to read, only about 10 percent of those challenged books end up as banned books.

Join fellow UD faculty, students and staff on the South Green between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sept. 27, to read aloud excerpts from banned and challenged works. Participants will start the conversation about the importance of intellectual freedom and free and open access to information.

Members of the campus community are invited to sign up for a five-minute time slot during the Read-Out to share a short passage from a banned or challenged book. Individuals may bring their own books or choose an excerpt from one of the UD Library’s books on display.

In many cases, books are challenged due to issues with diversity, including concerns surrounding religion, gender, sexual orientation, race and politics. The Library Diversity Committee worked to ensure all areas of diversity are represented in the books available for reading during the event.

For inspiration on what to read, take a look at the American Library Association’s list of frequently challenged books. Additionally, any texts that argue for intellectual freedom are encouraged.

Walk-up readers are welcome, though advance sign-ups will be given first priority. In case of rain, the Read-Out will take place in Morris Library’s Reference Room.

There will be opportunities to win prizes that support freedom to read during the Read-Out and throughout the entire Banned Books Week, which runs from Sept. 24 through Sept. 30.

Every hour during the Read-Out, those attending will have the chance to win a banned or challenged book. And throughout the week, individuals may tweet their support by taking a selfie with or posting a quote from a banned or challenged book, or sharing a video talking about censorship. Use hashtags #RebelReader and #UDReadsBannedBooks to win prizes from the American Library Association each day. For more information on ways to win, follow @UDLibrary.

Those unable to join the festivities on Sept. 27 but who still want to participate in the discussion surrounding censorship, may visit the Student Multimedia Design Center in Morris Library on Sept. 20.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the One-Button Studio will be reserved for those who wish to record themselves reading an excerpt from a banned or challenged book. These videos will be shared on social media and used as promotion for Banned Books Week.

In addition to these Banned Books Week festivities, there will also be a four-case exhibition, “Banned Books Week: Items from the Collection,” on display on the first floor of Morris Library. The exhibition will highlight titles from the list of frequently challenged and banned books that are available within Special Collections. It will be on view through Dec. 8.

UD’s Department of English; Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society; and the University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press sponsor the Banned Books Read-Out.


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