|Celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week|
|September 20, 2012|
During the week of September 30-October 6, Omaha Public Library (OPL) will participate in the 30th annual Banned Books Week by highlighting the value of free and open access to information. All are invited to attend a Banned Books Week panel discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m. at W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Rd. The panel will feature former OPL assistant library director Verda Bialac, author Marilyn Coffey, University of Nebraska at Omaha professor Dr. Charles Johanningsmeier, author and Omaha World-Herald columnist Rainbow Rowell, and author and University of Nebraska at Lincoln professor Timothy Schaffert. The panel will be moderated by Sally Deskins, blogger of "Les Femmes Folles: Celebrating Women in Art." Panel members will share their perspectives and answer questions about controversial book challenges and censorship. They will also take questions from the audience. The event is free and open to the public.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 following a surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. This annual celebration unites the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, including those that may be considered unorthodox or unpopular. By exposing efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Library patrons are encouraged to check out frequently challenged books to explore the issues and controversies surrounding book challenges and banning.
“By increasing awareness of books that were once challenged or banned in schools or libraries, Omaha Public Library hopes to help people understand the potential dangers of censorship,” said OPL Executive Director Gary Wasdin. “Many banned books from the past are now considered classics, such as To Kill a Mockingbird.”
This program is part of OPL’s 140th anniversary celebration. Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.