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Your Views: Banned Books Week at Brenau focuses attention on censorship
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Every year, during the last week of September, libraries and schools throughout the U.S. celebrate the freedom of the First Amendment by celebrating Banned Books Week.

Founded in 1982, by library activist and First Amendment advocate Judith King, the banned book campaign strives to raise awareness of censorship and seeks to draw attention to banned and challenged books and their authors.

Throughout this celebration, participants stress the dangers of limited information and encourage others to become actively involved in preserving our right to read and write whatever we may choose. Utilizing methods such as selling posters, creating displays and passage readings from banned or challenged books, the campaign advocates for intellectual freedom and reminds us all that we must hold onto and fight for our right to freedom of speech and free press.

This year Brenau University's Junior Honors Seminar is studying banned books, and will be participating in Banned Books Week along with the Brenau Trustee Library. The class, taught by Dr. Jay Gaspar and librarian Linda Kern, consists of seven junior and sophomore level students in the Honors Program.

The students have been working steadily this semester to provide the campus with advertisement and information on their Banned Books Week campaign. Press releases have been written and will be aired on WBCX 89.1-FM; flyers have been distributed throughout campus in buildings, campus boxes and through resident advisers to all residential students.

This week, posters will be placed throughout campus in Hopkins Dining Hall, Jewell Building, Owens Student Center and more as the culmination of the Junior Honors Seminar Banned Book Campaign. Each student selected a book that has either been challenged or banned for one reason or another and created an informational poster. Each poster contains the title of the book, the author, a summary, and an explanation of why the book was banned or censored.

The posters will rotate throughout the week and feature Harry Potter, "The Scarlet Letter," "Oliver Twist," "Heather Has Two Mommies," "Captain Underpants," "The Goats" and "The Catcher in the Rye."

Through this campaign the students at Brenau hope to raise community awareness about censorship and the dangers that it presents. So when you see a poster or hear a press release, we hope that you are inspired to go out and utilize your First Amendment right to read books that others are denied the privilege of experiencing and encourage you to become an advocate against censorship for generations to come.

Christina Poole
Brenau University, Gainesville

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