New Year’s Resolutions? No Problem! Let the Libraries Help

Happy 2019 and welcome back for the spring semester! Are you ready to make 2019 your best year yet? The Libraries have you covered. Read on to learn about new and ongoing initiatives and resources that will help you keep your resolutions and start off the new year strong.Image of tree blooming into spring

 

Exercise your creativity

Today marks the opening of our creative writing contest to commemorate the new Charles Library and the launch of the Short Edition short story dispenser. Submit a short original piece by March 8 for a chance to win a cash prize and/or be published in Temple’s first short story dispenser.

Make some extra money

If you’re an undergrad, consider submitting your research and creative projects to the Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards (submissions open through February 18) for a chance at winning a prestigious honor and cash prize.

Start a new project

Want to try your hand at podcasting, photography, or film? The Libraries can help! We lend out audiovisual equipment like DSLR cameras, Flip cameras, audio recorders, and tripods from our Media Services department. We also have workstations for editing your projects. Visit the Media Services desk on the ground floor of Paley Library to learn more.

Learn a new skill

Interested in 3D printing or Virtual Reality? Our Digital Scholarship Center houses a makerspace and VR lab. You will also find expert staff on hand and a variety of workshops and orientations to get you started.

Read a good book

There’s nothing like getting lost in the world of a new book. Browse Paley Library’s leisure reading collection on the first floor, near the Ask Here desk, and see what new worlds you can discover.

Elevate your research

Use our Ask a Librarian service to work with an expert subject librarian to deepen and develop your research and/or personal projects.

Take in a cultural experience

Need a little more culture in your life? The Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series offers a variety of free lectures, concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and more that are sure to entertain and engage. Did we mention they are free?

 

So you’re writing a dissertation, Part 4

On October 14, 2011 I interviewed the Religion Graduate Student (RGS) for the fourth time, so she had now been working on her dissertation for a year and a half. Her project was still moving in fits and starts. Over the summer she had gone through a rather rough stretch, in which she entertained a lot of doubt and uncertainty about the overarching theme of her work. After reading her 50 page first chapter in the middle of the summer, her advisor John Raines suggested that she was not “writing where her passion is”.

Acknowledging this, RGS went back to texts on globalization that she was most interested in — by Stiglitz, Sachs, Sen, and Wallerstein — and began reexamining her ideas. The chapter had looked at the second wave women’s movement from which religion had been expunged, but it included no references to globalization. The books on globalization made no reference to feminism and religion. She began “looking for the gaps” in the conversations on feminism, religion, and globalization and she returned to the Nationwide Women’s Program (NWP) archive to see if these sources might provide some explanation. She found that the notion of progress seemed to be embedded into each of these narratives in important ways.

By the time we met RGS had realized that she would probably end up using very little of the 50 pages she had submitted during the summer. On the other hand, she had a good fall schedule that left her free on Tuesdays and Thursdays and she was getting up each and every morning to work on her dissertation between 6 and 8. Though she had not written a lot since the summer, she was ready to push ahead. The “full body dissertation” routine she had tried to establish when she began in early 2010 had flagged a little: for exercise, she was walking now instead of running because, as she explained, it was harder to talk herself out of walking. She was now hoping to finish her dissertation within the next six months.   

(I found myself wondering if she had passed through that “dark night of the soul” that all seekers of knowledge encounter just before the dawn.)

—Fred Rowland

 

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A Look Back at Fall 2018 Beyond the Page Programs

Thanks to those of you who attended and participated in our Beyond the Page public programming series this semester. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in these learning experiences, and we hope to see you again in the spring as continue to explore Access & Opportunity! In the meantime, enjoy this look back at moments from our fall lineup of lectures, workshops, performances, and more.

photo of Sara Goldrick-Rab

photo courtesy Brae Howard

Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab kicks off our fall programming by discussing affordability in higher education, specifically food and housing insecurity.


Participants creating art in wheatpaste workshop

Photo courtesy Brae Howard

Participant pastes art outside Paley Library

Photo courtesy Brae Howard

Participants create and post their art outside Paley Library. The Libraries partnered with Conrad Benner of streetsdept.com and Cindy M. Ngo of Eat Up the Borders to bring local muralists and street artists to Paley Library to discuss their work, art in the public space, access to the arts and art education, and more.

 


Zach Brock performing

Photo courtesy Brae Howard

Jazz violinist, Boyer Artist-in-Resident, and Grammy winner Zach Brock performs at the Libraries as part of our Beyond the Notes concert series.


Poet Sonia Sanchez

Photo courtesy Bruce Turner

Gold medallion and diamond earring belonging to the late Tupac Shakur

Photo courtesy Bruce Turner

Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate and a leader in the Black Arts Movement, reads a poem at a donor reception at the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. The Blockson Collection received a historic donation from Goldin Auctions of memorabilia belonging to the late rapper Tupac Shakur. Read more about this important acquisition and see some of materials for yourself on Temple Now.

 

 

 

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NEW! Refworks institutional login

You can now create an account in Refworks using your institutional login (TU AccessNet). If you already have a Refworks account, you can associate it with your institutional account.

Creating a new account: https://refworks.proquest.com/

  • Choose Temple University, login using your AccessNet, provide email and name, and Voila! You’ve got an account!

AccessNet Login

Associate an existing accounting: https://refworks.proquest.com/ 

  • Log in using your existing account, click on Settings and then on Associate Credentials

Associate Credentials image

Questions? Contact Fred Rowland

 

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Therapy Dogs, Snacks, and Prep for Finals at Paley Library

Visit the Libraries’ Crunch Time Café to relax and refuel during study days and final exams. We’re partnering this year with the Wellness Resource Center, who will be on hand throughout the week to offer guided activities and resources. And don’t worry, we’re also bringing back the ever-popular therapy dogs to help you destress! Events will take place in the Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk, Ground Floor, unless otherwise noted.


Kickoff with Coffee and Pastries
Tuesday, December 11, 7:30–10:30 AM
Start your first study day right with breakfast on us.

Gather Round the Campfire!
Wednesday, December 12, 10:00 AM–1:00 PM
On your final study day, gather in the Paley Library Lecture Hall for a digital campfire, complete with snacks and space to spread out, study, and relax.

Traveling Crunch Time Café
Thursday, December 13
Keep an eye out for friendly library staff members roving the stacks with treats! Because we care about you and want to help you succeed!

Destress with Dogs
Monday, December 17, Noon–1:30 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 10:00–11:30 AM
Cap off your exams with some furry friends. Stop by to hang out with cuddly, sweet therapy dogs and feel your stress melt away.

 


Need Research Help?
Chat, text, email, or make an appointment with a subject librarian at library.temple.edu/asktulibraries.  

And to Make Your Studying Easier
Paley Library is open 24/7 from 8:00 AM on Thursday, December 6 through Tuesday, December 18. You can also book study spaces ahead of time at paleystudy.temple.edu.

 

 

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Temple University Percussion Ensemble: watch, consider, enjoy!

Temple University Percussion Ensemble

Phillip O’Banion, Director

Wednesday, December 5th

12:00pm – 12:50pm

Paley Library Lecture Hall

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

photo of xylophoneWatching a percussion ensemble can be unlike watching any other type of concert! For one thing, there is the physicality of seeing musicians move around between instruments. While we often think of music in more abstract terms, there is increased interest in the twenty-first century among music scholars in thinking about the physical relationship with a musical instrument (Abbate 2004; Le Guin 2006). The visual element of seeing musicians move around among elaborate set-ups of instruments contributes to the fun of the performance. Another exciting difference is that while most Western music tends to prioritize thinking about pitch over other aspects of music, percussion music celebrates and can help us listen more carefully to other elements of sound, such as rhythm, timbre, and volume. Of course, there is plenty of pitch in percussion music as well.

The composers represented in the program are Jason Treuting, Ivan Trevino, John Cage, Bob Becker, and Minoru Miki. Of these, John Cage is probably the most well-known. Cage is especially appreciated for his aleatoric works, compositions in which elements are left up to chance. He is also known for prepared piano music, in which performers place objects inside the piano before the concert to alter the sound. This concert will include music for prepared piano. While Cage is sometimes credited as the inventor of the technique, Liang Deng argues that the practice of preparing a piano actually dates to early keyboard music of the 17th century (2015).

photo of percussion performanceAll four of the other composers on the program are known for founding or co-founding their own percussion ensembles. Treuting is a percussionist and member of percussion ensemble Sō Percussion. The ensemble is known for performances of Cage and of Steve Reich, and their original music is described as influenced by those composers but also very distinct (DelCiampo 2015). Trevino is also a percussionist and member of Break with Reality, a cello and percussion quartet, and also a founder of The Big Trouble, which he describes on his website as “a songwriting collective focused on creating music for percussion and vocals in an indie-rock aesthetic.” Miki was a composer known for uses of traditional East Asian percussion instruments. In 2008 he published a book on composing for Japanese instruments [available at Paley]; he died in 2011. Miki too was an organizer of an ensemble; the Ensemble Nipponia was founded in 1964 and played music for traditional Japanese instruments (Kanazawa 2001). He composed a large body of works including a number of operas plus works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles. Finally, Becker co-founded the ensemble NEXUS in 1971 (Beck and Strain 2012).

All told, this concert features composers with roots from Japan [Miki] to Mexico [Trevino], while Cage and Becker were both heavily influenced by East Asian and South Asian sounds (Ruby 2017; Brett 2009). This makes sense. While the origins of most instruments in the orchestra may be fascinating and complex but are most commonly Eurocentric, the origins of instruments in the percussion section are especially diverse. There exist commonly used percussion instruments in modern and contemporary classical music from most populated corners of the world.

photo of xylophone and drum performanceSuch intercultural borrowing deserves close examination. Neil Ruby critiques Cage specifically as Ruby argues that “contemporary music often perpetuates pervasive attitudes and assumptions regarding the relationship between spirituality, Asia, and artistry that are historically amnesiac, culturally reductionistic, and perversely antithetical to the progressive egalitarian values typically associated with musical interculturalism” (2017). On the other hand, Philip Brett speculates how alternative instrumentations, tuning systems, and Orientalism itself might have held a special allure for gay American composers of the 20th century, including Cage. While noting that Orientalism is still problematic, Brett sees it as a potential strategy used by queer composers for escaping the traps of western cultures. This building of musical “alternate worlds” that Brett suggests—perhaps friendlier to those on the margins of society—through reference to non-Western culture can also be done through instrumentation, specifically the construction of less familiar, more adventurous ensembles.

This brings us back to the question of how percussion ensembles are different from others that perform “classical” music. The best way to find out will be to experience the concert firsthand, and to focus on the aspects of music that we normally think about less, from timbre to rhythm to the visual of performers’ movements on stage.

 

References:

Abbate, Carolyn. 2004. “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” Critical Inquiry 30: 505-36.

Beck, John H., and James A. Strain. 2012. “Percussion music.” Grove Music Online. Accessed November 7, 2018. http:////www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-1002225030.

Brett, Philip. 2009. “Queer Musical Orientalism.” Echo: A Music Centered Journal 9 (1).

DelCiampo, Matthew. 2015. “So Percussion and Grey Mcmurray, Where (we) Live. Cantaloupe CA21087, 2012, CD.” Journal of the Society for American Music 9 (4): 515-517. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.temple.edu/10.1017/S1752196315000462.

Deng, Liang. 2015. “On the Debate over Whether ‘Prepared Piano’ was the Invention of John Cage.” College Music Symposium 55.

Le Guin, Elisabeth. 2006. “‘Cello-and-Bow Thinking’: The First Movement of Boccherini’s Cello Sonata in E-flat Major, Fuori Catalogo,” Boccherini’s Body: An Essay in Carnal Musicology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 14-37.

Kanazawa, Masakata. 2001. “Miki, Minoru.” Grove Music Online. Accessed 7 November 2018. http:////www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000018649.

Miki, Minoru, and Marty Regan. 2008. Composing for Japanese Instruments. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

Ruby, Neil. 2017. “Spirituality and Orientalism in Contemporary Classical Music.” M.A. thesis, University of California, San Diego.

Sō Percussion. Accessed 7 November 2018. https://sopercussion.com/people/jason-treuting/

Trevino, Ivan. “Bio.” Accessed 7 November 2018. https://ivandrums.com/biography/

Ben Safran is a Ph.D. candidate in music at Temple University, where his dissertation focuses on contemporary classical composers’ uses of social justice and political themes within concert music. His compositions have been performed by various ensembles and musicians across the United States

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Shannon Merlino, Baroque Violin, and Music from our Childhoods

Music of Bach and Vivaldi

Led by Shannon Merlino

Wednesday, November 14th

12:00pm – 12:50pm

Paley Library Lecture Hall

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

 

Photo of Merlino playing viola

Shannon Merlino

Violinist and violist Shannon Merlino, a Philadelphia native, describes the theme of this recital as revisiting Baroque violin music that is most often used for pedagogical purposes for students first learning to play violin. Merlino references Itzhak Perlman’s album Concertos from my Childhood. That album consists of the famous virtuoso violinist’s performances of didactic pieces composed for violin students.

There are many pieces that were originally composed to be teaching tools or most commonly used as such, but that still can be captivating as concert pieces. I have my own experience of this, having taken my first piano lessons as a college student, in which I learned to play several of J.S. Bach’s 2-part inventions and Bartok’s Mikrokosmos, works written for students. Having already studied music theory certainly made my interpretation of these pieces different than they would have been if I had learned them as a child. Still, my interpretations were limited by my technical skill. These pieces have all been recorded by esteemed professionals, who bring new interpretations. While originally for pedagogical purposes, these works continue to attract the attention of scholars in the 21st century for non-pedagogical reasons (see, for example, Väisälä 2009; Hajdu 2008).

1870 painting of Bach and his family

Johann Sebastian Bach accompanies his family at the harpsichord. Toby Edward Rosenthal , 1870.

None of this is to belittle the joy that children and their families and friends can feel from learning these pieces their own way, even if their interpretations are often less nuanced. On some level, one can argue that these pieces should not require such nuance. Unlike a typical classical concert, a youth recital is more about celebrating the performer than it is about the composer. And much music written for students is not intended for performance at all, but rather as a means for one to practice a specific skill.

But it is another matter the repertoire for this recital, which will consist of Baroque music which was intended to have specific performance practice that is not often followed when students learn the music today. Merlino notes that “beginning players learn Baroque music, and without performance practice – ornamentation, continuo, and the like – the repertoire is relegated to “didactic” status.” In the Baroque era, musicians were often expected to add their own embellishments, such as trills or other flourishes (Although some, such as Couperin who was featured in a Beyond the Notes concert earlier this season, did provide their own.) So when children learn to play violin by using these pieces without such embellishments, not only is there less complex interpretation, there are fewer notes. In this program, we can expect to hear these pieces performed with a more historically informed practice, which should make them especially exciting.

Revisiting music from our childhood is not just for musicians. Most of us have music that was meaningful to us as children, that we feel as if we have grown out of, but is still part of who we are. There is some Baroque music, such as Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which most likely many listeners would have grown up hearing, if only from commercials or soundtracks, whether or not they learned to play an instrument. There is still much to gained from taking it seriously the soundtracks of our childhoods and listening in more closely.

Children’s music itself has so far received somewhat limited attention from musicologists and music theorists. This may be changing, however. In fact, there is an effort is currently underway to start a Childhood and Youth Studies Study Group within the American Musicological Society. It seems then, that this concert is coming at the perfect time!

Bios:

Born and raised in the greater Philadelphia area, Shannon Merlino began violin studies at the age of nine, earning her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance at Rutgers University as a student of Matthew Reichert and Lenuta Ciulei. She continued her violin studies as a scholarship student at Mannes College, earning a Master of Music degree while studying with Lewis Kaplan. Finally she completed doctoral coursework under Mikhail Kopelman at Rutgers University. After making the decision to focus primarily on viola, she began private studies with Kerri Ryan and is now in doctoral studies at Temple University. Her competition awards include second place in both the Miami String Quartet and South Orange Symphony competitions, and her solo credits include several appearances with the Lustig Dance Company. She has appeared in recitals as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the New York City metropolitan area, and maintains an active freelance performance career in the Philadelphia area as both modern and Baroque violist. Ms. Merlino has also given pre-concert talks on viola technique and pedagogy, most notably at the Library of Congress. Ms. Merlino performs on a viola by Clifford Hoing and a bow by Malcolm Taylor of W. E. Hill and Sons.

References:

Hajdu, Andre. “A Galaxy Called ‘Mikrokosmos’: A Composer’s View.” Tempo 62, no. 243 (2008): 16-35. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40072752.

Väisälä, Olli. “Bach’s Inventions: Figuration, Register, Structure, and the “Clear Way to Develop Inventions Properly”.” Music Theory Spectrum 31, no. 1 (2009): 101-52. doi:10.1525/mts.2009.31.1.101.

 

Ben Safran is a Ph.D. candidate in music at Temple University, where his dissertation focuses on contemporary classical composers’ uses of social justice and political themes within concert music. His compositions have been performed by various ensembles and musicians across the United States

The post Shannon Merlino, Baroque Violin, and Music from our Childhoods appeared first on Performing Arts News.

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The Gender Pay Gap: Oct. 15 Author Talk with Yasemin Besen-Cassino

Cover for Yasemin Besen-Cassino's book, The Cost of Being a GirlOn Monday, October 15, Temple University Press author Yasemin Besen-Cassino will be at Temple University’s Paley Library to discuss her book, The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap.

According to her research, the gender pay gap starts with part-time work in the teen years and persists into adulthood.

Yasemin Besen-Cassino is a Professor of Sociology at Montclair State University. Her research focuses on work, gender, and youth and has appeared in many sociology journals such as Contexts, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Theory & Society, NWSAJ, and Education & Society. In addition, her work has been featured in many popular venues such as the Washington Post, the Guardian, The Atlantic, CNN, MTV, Fortune, and Ms. Magazine, and many others.

Photograph of Professor Besen-Cassion

Professor Besen-Cassino

Want to learn more about gender pay gap ahead of Monday’s program? Read about how the gender pay gap affects teens on The Lily and check out Dr. Besen-Cassino’s op-eds on equal pay in The Guardian and in Ms. Magazine.  

This program will be held at 2:00 PM in the Paley Library Lecture Hall. As always, our programs are free and open to all. Registration requested.

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Zach Brock, Jazz Violin, and Genre

Photo of Zach Brock.

Zach Brock, jazz violinist

Beyond the Notes Presents:

Boyer Artist-in-Residence Zach Brock, Jazz Violinist

Tuesday, October 23rd, 12:00pm – 12:50pm

Paley Library Lecture Hall

 

While a fixture of the classical concert hall, violins have also been used in Jazz since the 1930’s. In addition to amplification and a tendency toward bowing over plucking, jazz violin playing can also include extended techniques, strategies to alter or distort the violin sound that are not part of typical playing conventions. These have unique sounds that are often not at all traditionally “violin-like.”

Grammy-award-winning Zach Brock, who studied violin performance at Northwestern University, is regarded as among the top jazz violinists of our time. Yet Brock also incorporates musical ideas and techniques that may sound less like Jazz than like “classical” composers such as Bartok, with minimalist and post-minimalist sonic gestures as well. Some of Brock’s particular performance practices are uncommon among jazz violinists. For example, jazz violin often requires electronic amplification for purposes of balance with other instruments, but videos of Brock most often showing him playing without any amplification. In addition, note that jazz violin has traditionally been played with the bow [arco] rather than plucked with fingers [pizzicato] (Glaser et al. 2003), but a number of Brock’s performances do make use of pizzicato.

The ability to “cross over” between genres is not to be taken for granted. While jazzy sounds have been incorporated into American classical music since the early 20th century, and the tradition of improvisation within classical music stretches back many centuries, typical classical musicians who have not had experience playing Jazz would most likely find the transition to playing jazz difficult. Playing jazz requires a distinct skill set and technique. There are now a large number of teaching materials specifically dedicated to students learning jazz strings (Alibrio-Curran 2005). There are also sociocultural and especially racial implications to crossing over stylistic boundaries, which are increasingly attracting the attention of music scholars (James 2017).

But genre lines are already fuzzy. What is “Jazz” as a genre? German philosopher Theodor Adorno clumped Jazz in with popular music ([1941] 2002); strangely, even though he acknowledged that Jazz is more complex in some ways—such as rhythm—than classical music, he nevertheless maintained that all pop music is nevertheless rigid and mechanical. Scott DeVeaux notes that Jazz has also been referred to as “America’s classical music,” and is sometimes seen, like classical music, as a dying art form ([1991] 1998). What gets to count as Jazz has always been up for debate. The modernist tradition of “free Jazz” is sometimes not thought of as Jazz at all (DeVeaux [1991] 1998), but why not? DeVeaux argues that Jazz’s present struggles and decline in popularity should not be thought of as a musical or aesthetic problem, but rather one of historical framing.

So how about Jazz violin? Jazz in textbooks is sometimes given a clear, linear history, in which it is oriented more toward African American than European culture (DeVeaux [1991] 1998). This is not wrong, but—like the related notion of seeing Jazz as synonymous with “Black art music”—it is too simplistic. Violin, of course, can be thought of as one of the most quintessential European instruments. So if we know that Jazz violin has been around since the 1930’s, that could be a clue to help us to revisit the history of Jazz as more complex than we would often acknowledge. Once we do that, instead of finding a clear way forward for the genre to proceed, we can accept that its future will be as divergent and multi-layered as its past.

 

References:

Adorno, Theodor. ([1941] 2002). “On Popular Music,” reprinted in Essays on Music, Richard Leppert, ed., 437-479. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Alibrio-Curran, Frances. 2005. “From Whence They Came: A Tribute to Early String Improvisational Materials.” American String Teacher 55, 1 (February): 68-70. https://doi-org.libproxy.temple.edu/10.1177/000313130505500110

DeVeaux, Scott. ([1991] 1998), “Constructing the Jazz Tradition: Jazz Historiography,” Black American Literature Forum 25, no. 3 (Fall): 525-60, reprinted in The Jazz Cadence of American Culture, New York: Columbia University Press, 484-514.

Glaser, Matt, Alyn Shipton, and Anthony Barnett. 2003. “Violin, jazz.” Grove Music Online. Accessed 15 Sep. 2018. http:////www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-2000468100.

James, Robin. 2017. “Is the post- in post-identity the post- in post-genre?” Popular Music 36 (1): 21-32.

Zack Brock. n.d. “Home – Zack Brock.” Accessed 18 September 2018. https://www.zachbrock.com/home

 

Ben Safran is a Ph.D. candidate in music at Temple University, where his dissertation focuses on contemporary classical composers’ uses of social justice and political themes within concert music. His compositions have been performed by various ensembles and musicians across the United States.

The post Zach Brock, Jazz Violin, and Genre appeared first on Performing Arts News.

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Speak Out During Banned Books Week, Sept. 23–29

This week is Banned Books Week, an annual American Library Association (ALA) event that celebrates the freedom to read and asks us to speak out against the tide of censorship.

Every year, books in schools and libraries are challenged, meaning a person or group has requested their removal or restriction. The reasons for these challenges range from objections to explicit content, offensive language, age-inappropriate material, and more. Yet, most challenges are unsuccessful due to the hard work of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who support and promote our freedom to openly access information and literature.

Check out our display on the first floor of Paley Library, across from the service desk. The featured books have all been challenged at some point in libraries and schools, along with many other frequently challenged books. Consider checking one out and support your freedom to seek and express ideas.


Join the Conversation for a Chance to Win Library Swag!

Tweet us your favorite passage or quote from a banned book with the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek for a chance to win one of of the Libraries’ new drawstring bags! We’ll be choosing a few lucky winners throughout the week.

 

 

 

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