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Drury community marks Banned Books Week with readings Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 27, 2016 — The Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society will host a banned book reading from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29, at Olin Library on the Drury campus in recognition of national Banned Books Week.

“The Banned Books Reading has become one of our signature fall events,” said Dr. Kevin Henderson, Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and advisor to Sigma Tau Delta. “The list of what some districts still deem inappropriate for high school students – including ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘The Giver’ and ‘Of Mice and Men’ – always inspires college students to celebrate what these books meant to them and what they have to offer all readers.”

This year’s reading will feature some of these familiar selections but will also include novels such as “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Persepolis” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

“The Banned Books Reading is about the celebration of the transformative and liberating aspects of literature,” said Hayden Gann, president of Sigma Tau Delta and a senior English and writing major. “We believe that censoring or restricting the reading material for young people, or anyone, because it is deemed ‘inappropriate’ is a huge limitation to gaining a broader understanding of the world. Reading these banned books aloud for everyone is one great way to show our support for not only the texts, but for the freedom of ideas.”

In order to help make literature more available to everyone, Sigma Tau Delta will also accept book donations during the event for a Little Free Library located in the neighborhood west of Drury’s campus.

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. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. Check out a list of the 10 most challenged titles of 2015.

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Media Contact: Dr. Kevin Henderson, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences: (417) 873-7426 or khenders@drury.edu.

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