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Banned Books Week: ‘Boneheaded, wrong-headed & un-American’

October 2nd, 2012 Posted in Opinion

LOGAN—The 30th National Banned Books Week will be observed at the Logan Library this week with a talk by  journalism professor Ted Pease, head of the USU Department of Journalism & Communication.

New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1873

The address, “Banning Books: Boneheaded, Wrong-Headed and Thoroughly Un-American,” sponsored by the library, is Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Bonneville Room of the Logan Library, 255 N. Main St.

“My problem with the topic, when I first was asked to do this talk, was that banning books is so old news,” Pease said. “I mean, does anyone really try to ban books anymore? Surely in the Internet age, trying to ban free expression—and the dear old book, for goodness’ sake!—is both stupid and impossible.”

See Bill Moyers’s Statement on Banned Books Week

But, Pease said, he has learned that the American Library Association, which sponsors Banned Books Week, recorded about 326 efforts by parents and community groups to ban books from school and library shelves in the past year. Among the targeted books in 2011, classics like J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five (1969), Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl (1952), and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), as well as newer titles like Suzanne Collins’ popular The Hunger Games (2008). See the ALA’s “Timeline: 30 Years of Liberating Literature.”

Trying to ban books in 2012 is “like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube,” Pease said. “I love books,” said Pease, co-author of a 1992 book titled Publishing Books, “but I come at this conversation from a broader perspective, of the universal human right of free expression and the second most powerful sentence ever written—the First Amendment.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Logan Library at (435) 716-9123.


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