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Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Library is offering a free online panel discussion featuring representatives from local libraries to celebrate Banned Books Week.
The panel discussion called, Resisting Censorship: How Local Libraries Protect Your Freedom to Read, will be held Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. on Zoom at this link. Panelists include Teresa DeSimio, director of DACC Library; Kevin Comerford, dean of NMSU Libraries; and Steven Haydu, manager for Technical Studies at Thomas Branigan Memorial Public Library. The topic of discussion will be the rights of individuals to have unrestricted access to reading materials. This includes protecting the freedom to read, resisting censorship, and supporting equity. Librarians from DACC, NMSU, and Thomas Branigan Memorial Public Library are scheduled to participate. This online event is open to the public.
According to the recent American Library Association’s State of America’s Libraries Special Report: Pandemic Year Two, there has been an “unprecedented uptick” in book challenges. A majority of those books feature gender or racial minority characters and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. While some challenged books are ultimately returned to the school library, the threat remains as some in the community continue to push the school board to remove books deemed “explicit and not age-appropriate.” This push to remove access has spilled over to public libraries and recent state legislature has even begun to impact reading, teaching, and learning in higher education institutions.
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. Supported by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the event brings together librarians, booksellers, publishers, teachers, and readers of all types and ages who wish to maintain the public’s right to seek out and express ideas, even those deemed unpopular. BBW will be held this year September 18th-24th. This event is co-sponsored by the NMSU Library.