Banned Books Read-In Brings Censorship to Light

Passages Read from 'Harry Potter' and 'Huck Finn' to 'Decameron' and 'The Day No Pigs Would Die'

October 2, 2012

Patti Kinsinger, reference librarian, reads from Sherman Alexie's

Patti Kinsinger, reference librarian, reads from Sherman Alexie's "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian."

More than three-dozen Wilmington College students, faculty and staff stopped by Watson Library Monday (Oct. 1) to read, listen, contemplate and enjoy homemade desserts at the annual Banned Books Read-in.

Books that have been censored by some local school or library boards somewhere in the United States received center stage as persons read passages to illustrate freedom of thought as an American value.

The event was held in conjunction with the National Library Association’s 30th anniversary observance of Banned Books Week.

Gloria Flaherty, emeritus professor of education, hosted the event — and provided the treats.
Jean Mulhern, director of the library, said Flaherty described why certain books have been challenged in spite of their overriding merits and teachable moments.

“She cautioned us to always respect the individual parent’s or reader’s choice not to read a particular book, but never to allow that choice to be denied to others,” Mulhern said.

This year’s event featured readings from such perennial classics as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huck Finn, but also included The Day No Pigs Would Die, Decameron, Our Bodies – Ourselves, A Wrinkle in Time, Leaves of Grass, the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Watson Library staff complemented the Read-in with a dramatic poster and book display.