Banned Book Week event ideas for academic libraries - no flames, please!
April 16, 2016 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I want to plan some kick-ass events at my academic library for this year's Banned Books Week (in September). I'd love your ideas.

Each year, public libraries across America create displays to highlight our first amendment right to read what we want to read (dammit!) without interference from others. Yes, Banned Books Week should probably be called "challenged and complained about books week" but that doesn't roll off the tongue in the same way. And yes, some displays are just a table of books surrounded by red, yellow, and orange construction paper flames (but at least it can start a discussion). I'm looking for something more than that. I'm thinking of a 24-hour-readathon (since we're open 24x5 during academic semesters) or a read-a-LOUD outside, on the quad where preachers tend to shout their own dramatic monologues, or something else along those lines...
What's the coolest thing you've seen for Banned Books Week? Share! thanks in advance, guys and gals of library-land!
posted by crepeMyrtle to Education (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I love the idea of a readathon.

What about big "most wanted" style book covers that people can take pictures of themselves starring in, photo booth style? Or a scavenger hunt?
posted by mynameisluka at 4:51 PM on April 16, 2016

In VT we have a 4th of July tradition (well, new tradition) which is a participatory thing called Reading Frederick Douglass. The speech itself is a 4th of July speech but it works for Banned Books week too. Basically someone printed out the speech and cut it up into like one paragraph chunks and people would line up with the speech in hand and read the next chunk and then move on to the next one. I participated and watched people in my neighborhood participate and it was more moving than I had expected.
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 PM on April 16, 2016

My college had sign-ups to read aloud controversial passages from your favorite banned books in the student commons area. It was quite arresting to hear someone read from The Giver about the killing of one of a pair of twin infants. You could select the passages in advance or let readers pick their own.
posted by irisclara at 9:05 PM on April 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

One of our local University libraries does something similar to what irisclara describes. It's like an all-day Marathon of people who sign up to read, and the audience can drop in or out for as much as they want to listen to. A lot of local actors and theater people get involved, which makes for some really powerful reading.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:01 AM on April 17, 2016

Thanks -- these are all good suggestions! I'll add them to my proposal.
posted by crepeMyrtle at 2:52 PM on April 18, 2016

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