Celebrating “Banned Books” at St. Petersburg College Libraries

Banned Books Week (September 22 – 28, 2019) is an annual week-long celebration of the freedom to read.  It started in 1982 in response to a rise in the number of book challenges in schools, bookstores, and libraries. 

According to the American Libraries Association, books are usually challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, usually children, from difficult ideas and information. These challenges often label books “controversial” or “offensive” based on topics of religion, politics, violence, and sexuality. Prohibiting access to information and stories is a dangerous practice, one that libraries all over the world fight against.

The List of Banned Books may Surprise you…

A photo of a book case displaying banned books.

Do you read banned books? Many of our most beloved classics have been banned or challenged.  Check out the video from librarians, Heather Holtzman and Kaitlin Crockett, highlighting some of the banned books in the St. Petersburg College Libraries. You might be surprised by some of the titles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imOPC5DAWxQ&feature=youtu.be

The Tarpon Springs Campus library has a special collection of these books. In an effort to preserve the freedom of information, SPC librarians are committed to providing students with access to books that face censorship. Books are available to be checked out for a period of 28 days with a Student or Staff ID card. 

Read-A-Long “George

Students can participate in a Banned Books Read-A-Long and Discussion at the St. Pete/Gibbs Campus library on Wednesday, September 25th at 2 p.m. They will discuss “George” by Alex Gino, a children’s novel about a young, transgender girl, which is the #1 banned or challenged book in the past year. 

A flyer highlighting "George" by Alex Gino, a children's book featuring a transgender lead. The flyer reads "SPC Gibbs Library and GLOW Present BANNED BOOKS WEEK READ-A-LONG and Discussion, Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 at 2-4 p.m. in LI 223. Copies of the book (George) are available for students at the SPC Gibbs Library."

Library paraprofessional Antonia Green, who will be co-hosting the Read-A-Long, hopes that cisgender readers will gain a better understanding of and empathy for their fellow transgender students from the book. 

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Search for banned books via the SPC Online Libraries here, or visit your campus library. You can even read them at our new Learning Center at the Downtown Center, which you can read more about at http://bit.ly/2mMITqk.

This blog was written by Learning Resources staff Kaitlin Crockett.

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