Banned Books week continues at Homer Babbidge
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 22:10
Banned Books Week is underway until Oct. 6, and UConn has already celebrated the occasion with a read-out session, as well as a small display of some of the most commonly banned books in history, set up at the Co-op. In most years, Homer Babbidge Library has a large display for the awareness week with background information on banned books, but there will not be a display this year due to limited spacing.
Nevertheless, the library is still trying to keep students informed by setting up an online class guide for Banned Books Week. The class guide can be found by typing in “banned books” in the search engine under “subjects and class guides.”
On the site, there are various tabs to search through that inform viewers of the least expected books that have been banned or challenged, such as “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein or “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. There is even a poll that asks which banned books students have read, ranging from children’s literature to young adult to classical literature. There are also examples of First Amendment cases of books being challenged in different parts of the United States.
“Libraries don’t choose books that we only believe in or have the content that we support,” said undergraduate education librarian and women’s gender and sexuality studies specialist Kathy Labadorf. “We purchase books of all interests. It’s important that students come in and find subjects on all sides of the issue.”
Last year, the library had a large display set up that listed the four most common reasons why a book is banned: religious, social, sexual, and political grounds. Typically, school libraries are the targeted areas, according to Labadorf, and various people challenge books including parents and even town councils.
Labadorf pointed out the importance of the Library Bill of Rights and the obligations that librarians have to provide resources for the interests, information and enlightenment of all people within a community. The Bill of Rights states “material should not be excluded of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.”
“It’s not up to us. We are for freedom of information and no censorship,” said Labadorf. “The only time censorship occurs is with scholarly articles. However those are specifically for scholarly libraries. The University of Connecticut library is research extensive, and where people need to know the spectrum of theory and issues in any one particular topic so you can be well-informed.”
The library will have a stack of papers with a full list of banned books and where in the library they can be found if students are interested.