Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Celebrating Our Freedom To Read

Staff members of the Academic Resource Center in the TWU Institute 
for Health Sciences-Houston (L-R Library Assistant II Yandee Vazquez 
and Librarian Marilyn Goff) are celebrating Banned Books Week by 
showing TWU Houston faculty, staff and students how they can read 
banned books that they will love.  Photograph by Sarah Strayhorn.
Editor's Note: During Banned Books Week (this year September 21-27) book lovers of every stripe--librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers--symbolically band together to shine a light on the value of free and open access to information.  If you think censorship is a thing of the past, think again.  In 2013 alone 307 cases of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association--and every year many cases go unreported. 

How would you like to have a banned book?  You already do, if you happen to own a copy of a number of iconic classics of modern American literature.  

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned, ‘unbanned’, then banned again some 50 years later.  The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Toni Morrison's Beloved; Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee--all these books and more have at one time been banned or challenged.  Want to know more?  View this fascinating timeline covering highlights of Banned Books Week since its inception in 1982.    

Banned Books Week, an annual September celebration held in honor of our freedom to read, highlights the importance of understanding literature and the art of writing from many different cultures and points of view. 

Many banned books, in print and/or electronic form, are available through the TWU Libraries.  Find them by searching the libraries' holdings using TWUniversal.

Celebrate your freedom to read.  Read a book--banned or not--today.

~Marilyn Goff

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