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Banned Books Read Out encourages appreciation for diverse ideas

Posted by Daniel Alcantara '15, Wyoming, Minnesota on Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011


People rarely celebrate banned objects, words, or thoughts. Monday, September 26, 2011, will be one of those unique occasions. At the University of Minnesota, Morris Rodney A. Briggs Library, readings from banned and challenged books will begin in the McGinnis Room at 7 p.m.

Briggs Library in partnership with Sigma Ti Delta, the English honor society, will spotlight and showcase titles that have caused controversy all over the United States. Popular titles such as Harry Potter and Twilight have made the list of challenged and banned books alongside classics such as Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. And those titles are just a few of hundreds that have been challenged or banned, not to mention the titles that have gone unreported.

Many books have been challenged—questioned by people as being inappropriate—or banned due to content and themes that take place in the pages of the books. Content may vary from the occult, violence, and drug use, but it also may challenge the way society or “right and wrong” are viewed.

“Banning a book shuts out ideas and understanding,” says student Sarah Butterfass, Howard Lake, Sigma Ti Delta president. Spreading understanding is a goal of this event, and members of Sigma Ti Delta are helping to spread the word about the read out on and off campus in an effort to facilitate appreciation for diverse ideas expressed in banned or challenged books.

Readings will run approximately five minutes each, and a discussion on censorship will follow. Refreshments will be available at the event as well.

If you would like to give a reading from a banned or challenged book, please contact Butterfass.