New Maag exhibit focuses on banned books

banned books Freadom14Poster_11x17_2014Recent and classic books that have been banned or challenged are the subject of a new exhibit in the Sweet Gallery of University Archives and Special Collections in Maag Library.

The free exhibit on the fifth floor of the library is in recognition of Banned Books Week, an annual event spearheaded by the American Library Association to highlight the value of free and open access to information. Since 1990,ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has received reports of 9,500 attempts to remove books deemed by some as inappropriate. Most of the attempts happen in local school districts or public libraries, but over the past decade more than 100 written challenges have been filed against materials used in college classes and academic libraries.

The Banned Books Week website at contains lists and statistics of written challenges and bans for specific books. Visitors can see if their favorite book has been banned somewhere in the United States. A YouTube channel features supporters from around the world reading passages from banned books at

The Maag exhibit highlights books that have been banned or challenged in the last year, as well as controversial classic books, and famous court cases involving the right to read certain books. Some of the books highlighted in the exhibit are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The exhibit will be up for the rest of the Fall semester and can be seen during regular library hours – 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 am.. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday.