Take a Pic and Watch a Flick–It’s Banned Books Week!

It’s Banned Books Week at St. Thomas University Library and at libraries, bookstores, universities, comic book stores, and everywhere there’s a book to be challenged or defended across the nation.

Take your pick and take a pic!

Stop by the Information Table in the Library Atrium on September 22, 2014, to have your picture taken with your favorite banned book! We’ll have a cartload full of challenged books to choose from. We would like you to post your photo on social media with the hashtags ‪#‎HaveYouSeenUs and ‪#‎STULibrary or Tweet it @STULibrary with #HaveYouSeenUs. We’re giving away free Banned Books Week buttons to the first five who post! Claim your button at the Information Table.

Have you seen us?

Why “Have You Seen Us?” Banned books are challenged for removal from bookshelves, curricula, and classrooms across the nation and could go missing if libraries, schools, students, or anyone who cares about the freedom to read doesn’t defend them. Raise awareness of this issue by telling (and showing) your friends that you read banned books! To see a list of banned or challenged books (and movie adaptations of them) that are in the Library’s collection, we’ve created a WorldCat list for you. If you have the 3M Cloud Library app downloaded to your mobile device, we’ve created a bookshelf of banned ebooks that you can check out and read on the go!

To learn more about book banning, check out the literature at our Information Table on September 22, 2014. You can also search the Library catalog for the keyword “censorship” and check out the videos on our YouTube Banned Books Week playlist.

Graphic novels and comicsWhatInThe Blazes

For 2014, the Banned Books Week celebration will spotlight graphic novels and comics, both frequently challenged genres. Our Outreach Librarian has put together a book display of challenged graphic novels, with QR Codes that link to case studies prepared by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund describing why the particular book has been challenged. Books in our display are also featured on our Banned Books Week 2014 Pinterest board, along with some other great pins. We’ve also hand-picked a graphic memoir that has been made into an animated film to show you during Banned Books Week—Persepolis!

Persepolis film screening & intro with Law Prof. Lenora Ledwon

We’re going to have a special screening of Persepolis in the Library Atrium on Tues., Sept. 23, at 11am. We’ve also asked STU Law Professor Lenora Ledwon, who teaches Law & Literature, to discuss the legal and historical context of Persepolis before we show the film.

Persepolis is a graphic memoir by Marjane Satrapi about growing up in Iran in the 1970s and 1980s. A young girl when the Shah was defeated in the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Marjane becomes dangerously outspoken as an adolescent when she witnesses injustices meted out under the repressive Islamic fundamentalist rule. For her safety she is sent by her parents to a school in Vienna, but through a series of conflicts and losses she becomes depressed and homeless. She returns to Iran, her rebellious spirit rattling the repressive and sexist chains of an Iran she must again flee.

The book was widely lauded by Time Magazine and the New York Times when it was translated into English in 2003. It was made into an animated film in 2007, was the Academy Award Nominee for Best Animated Feature that year, and won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, among other awards.

The graphic memoir went unchallenged until last year, when Chicago Public Schools administrators pulled the book from 7th grade classrooms and temporarily suspended it from use in grades 8 to 10. The purported reason: its depiction of Islamic torture techniques.

Looking forward to seeing you in the Library Atrium this week!

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