DePaul to celebrate Banned Books Week

Library staff at banned books week
Library staff invite members of the university community to drop by and learn more about why books are challenged, explore a selection of banned books available at DePaul, and share which books have been important to them. (Image courtesy of Heather Jagman)
Banned Books Week is just around the corner, and DePaul University is collaborating with members of the Chicago community to celebrate. For the third year in a row, the DePaul University Library and the DePaul Writing Center will team with City Lit Theater Company to bring the organization's "Books on the Chopping Block" presentation to the Lincoln Park Campus.

"We love being able to support DePaul's distinctive connection to Chicago's theatre community," says Heather Jagman, coordinator of reference, instruction and academic engagement at DePaul. "As part of preparing DePaul students to be engaged members of their communities, events like these help current students and future alumni understand the ongoing vigilance needed to protect the First Amendment, freedom of speech and access to information in the United States." 

On Friday, Sept. 29, performers from City Lit will present "Books on the Chopping Block" at DePaul. The performance features brief, yet dramatic, readings from the past year's 10 most frequently banned and challenged books in America. This year's books include "I Am Jazz," by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings; "Looking for Alaska," by John Green; and "Little Bill," a series by Bill Cosby.

"Seeing actors perform live readings from these books reminds us that literature tells the tales of real human beings whose stories are at risk of being silenced," Jagman says. "Banned Books Week is not just about books, but also about our freedom to read, write, watch, create and have access to information."

In addition to the performance on Sept. 29, DePaul's John T. Richardson Library also will host a "Read In" on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 2 - 5 p.m. Library staff invite members of the university community to drop by and learn more about why books are challenged, explore a selection of banned books available at DePaul, and share which books have been important to them. Additionally, participants at any of DePaul's Banned Book Week events will be entered into a raffle to win tote bags and copies of "1984," by George Orwell, a Banned Books Week classic.

DePaul University Library Read In
Thursday, Sept. 28
2 - 5 p.m.
Richardson Library, 2nd floor

Books on the Chopping Block
Friday, Sept. 29
1 p.m.
Richardson Library

About Banned Books Week

Sponsored by the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom, Banned Books Week is an annual celebration designed to encourage people to think about their freedom to read. Held during the final week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.