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Readings in U of M Library Rotunda Will Mark Banned Books Week Sept. 26-30

For release: September 14, 2011
For press information, contact Inez Todd, 901-678-8219

The University Libraries of the University of Memphis will observe Banned Books Week Sept. 26-30 with public readings from banned or challenged books. The readings – by faculty, students, administrators, and others – will begin at 11:30 a.m. each day in the Ned R. McWherter Library rotunda and end around 1:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend.

In recognition of the University’s centennial, readings will focus on books banned during the Progressive Era (1890-1920), which includes the school’s opening in 1912. Among others, books banned during this period include The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard Burton, Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, The Art of Love by Ovid and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, which keeps track of books that have been challenged or banned from libraries or bookstores in the United States. Each year American libraries face numerous challenges against books that contain what some people consider offensive language, sexually explicit material, violence, and other issues.

The University’s participation in the nationwide project helps call attention to the importance of the rights of free speech and free expression.

For more information on Banned Books Week, or to volunteer to read excerpts during the week’s event, contact Inez Todd at 901-678-8219.

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