URI’s Banned Books Week celebrates and encourages the freedom to read and learn, with events and guest speakers, September 19-23 – URI News


PROVIDENCE, RI, – August 31, 2022 – To celebrate and encourage the freedom to read, the Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Rhode Island will host a series of events during Banned Books Week, August 19-23 September, to raise awareness of censored and contested books.

Tiffany D. Jacksonfilmmaker and New York Times bestselling author of Monday does not comea book banned in 2021, will be the guest speaker on September 19, at 4 p.m., in the Paff Auditorium on the Providence campus.

Drag the story hours September 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. in the Providence campus library will feature drag queens and kings, reading currently banned children’s books. The drag performers scheduled to appear are: Siobhan LaPorte-Cauley, Ottavia De Luca, Marc Tiberiis and Patricia Tulli-Hawkridge from the OutLoud Theater and the Trailer Park Girls ensemble.

Calendar of Banned Books Week events

‘Papa Marc’ presents the 2021 banned books for reading URI Drag Queens and Kings books at the Providence campus library.

Monday, September 19 – Tiffany D. Jackson
New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction; author of the book banned in 2021, Monday does not come
4 p.m. – Paff Auditorium. Campus Providence

Wednesday, September 21 – Open Forum and Panel Discussion
Censorship and challenge challenged books and topics.
Panel of teachers, school librarians and information specialists.
7 p.m. – Center for Biological and Life Sciences (CBLS), Room 010
Kingston Campus (parking available in the Chafee lot)

Thursday, September 22 – PROHIBITED: It’s a Drag! reading time
7:00 p.m. – Providence Campus Library

Friday, September 23 – PROHIBITED: It’s a Drag! reading time
7:00 p.m. – Providence Campus Library

Banning books, especially children’s books, is one of the most common forms of censorship, claiming that readers will be influenced by the book’s content, or that the material is considered sexually explicit, contains language offensive or not suitable for a particular age group.

Each year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the ten most contested books to educate the public about censorship.

“Forbidden Books Week celebrates our right to read. Censorship has devastating consequences. Reading allows us to glimpse the world of others. We experiment with vicarious perspectives by immersing ourselves in matters with which we have little experience. Who should dictate these topics? Ask yourself, ‘who is the referee?’ When a small group becomes the arbiter for the rest, we lose our freedom to make decisions for ourselves. I am thrilled that URI is standing up for our right to read,” said Theresa Deeney, professor of reading, language and learning disabilities at URI’s School of Education and one of the organizers of the event.

Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week was a response to a sudden increase in the number of challenged books in schools, bookstores and libraries.

Usually held in September, Banned Books Week celebrates freedom to read and informs current and historic attempts to censor books in libraries and schools, while supporting the value of free and open access to information.

The banned book lists are based on information from media stories and voluntary challenge reports from communities across the United States.

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