Thursday, September 25, 2014

Celebrating the Freedom to Read @ Davis Library!

In honor of Banned Books Week (BBW), an annual and national celebration of the freedom to read, the Friends of the Davis Library hosted a special Read-Out! program yesterday at the Davis Library to raise awareness about the harms of censorship and the importance of maintaining our First Amendment Rights. 
Dr. Elizabeth Brown, URG Professor of English reads out!
University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College students, faculty and staff shared excerpts from their favorite frequently challenged books during the afternoon event, which began around 3 p.m. Wednesday, September 24th on the library’s Main Floor.

Book Display featuring Top 10 Frequenlty Challenged Books of 2013
Challenges are formal complaints or efforts made by individuals or groups to prevent others from accessing certain information materials.  Each year the Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) at American Library Association (ALA) documents any reports of efforts to restrict or ban to certain book titles.  The “top ten”books challenged for 2013 that Davis Library also featured in a book display are as follows:

Out of 307 challenges as reported by the OIF…
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
The English Department and Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society) here on campus also actively participate each year in Davis Library’s BBW celebrations. We’d like to thank them once again for their continued support.  The cool t-shirts that Sigma Tau Delta sold last year for a fundraiser were a big hit at this year’s event.
Library Staff members Deb Thompson and Amy Wilson sporting t-shirts from last year's Sigma Tau Delta's fundraiser
For more Read-Out! photos, visit the Davis Library’s Facebook Page at:

Have any questions about BBW or any other Friends of the Davis Library’s activities? Please feel free to…“Ask Us!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Whole New (Constitution Day) View

View of Davis Library around 4 PM Wednesday 9.17.14

Happy Constitution Day!  Today we commemorate and celebrate the September 17, 1787 signing of the United States (U.S.) Constitution, a document that outlines the nature of our government and the freedoms we enjoy as U.S. citizens.  

Nationally observed since 2004 to promote greater awareness of our civil liberties and the tireless efforts our Founding Fathers went through to secure those rights, this date is also sometimes referred to as Citizenship Day.

Each September in the week that usually follows Constitution Day, librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types continue the celebration of our freedoms with particularly emphasis on our First Amendment Rights by observing Banned Books Week (BBW), which takes place this year September 21 - 27.

BBW recognizes and delights in our freedom to read. The importance of open access to information in maintaining democratic and just societies is significantly stressed at this time.  By focusing on efforts across the country to remove, restrict or filter the availability of certain books and websites, BBW draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Our ability to think critically, solve problems and improve student achievement are dependent on the ability to communicate, discuss and explore ideas—even those beliefs or viewpoints that may be uncomfortable, unpopular or unorthodox.

On September 24, 2014 the Friends of the Davis Library will host its annual “Read-Out!” event at 3 p.m. on the Davis Library’s Main Floor

You’re invited to participate in the celebration by sharing excerpts from your favorite frequently challenged book.  Challenged books are those titles that the Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) at American Library Association has documented as being subjected to formal banning attempts.

If you’ve any questions or concerns about this upcoming activity, please don’t hesitate to “Ask Us!