Each year, hundreds of books are kept out of libraries or challenged based on sexual content, profanity, racism or offensive illustrations, a fact SUNY Cortland will spotlight with a display of banned books in four different campus locations.
A selection of banned books — including many that will surprise visitors — can be seen in the College Store, Corey Union, Old Main and Memorial Library from Friday, Sept. 23 through Friday, Oct. 7. Visitors to the displays will have the opportunity to win prizes by answering questions about these supposedly dangerous books.
The Friends of the Library and the College Store are sponsoring the displays and prize contest.
The event serves as a reminder of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
“Ever wonder why anyone would not let people read or use The American Heritage Dictionary?” observed Memorial Library Director Gail Wood. “Why would someone think I Hate English! is a bad book? What is wrong with The Diary of Anne Frank?
“To find these answers, check out the banned books displays. See how familiar literature has been and continues to be censored on a regular basis.”
Contest forms at each display will give visitors a chance to test how much they know about the books on exhibit. By completing the contest forms available at each display, participants may win one of two $10 ASC gift cards, a Nike hooded sweatshirt or a Cortland full zip sweatshirt, t-shirt or water bottle.
Each display has its own prize. The contest is open to students, faculty and staff. Participants may submit only one entry per person per display.
A drawing for the prizes will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Teaching Materials Center at Memorial Library. One winner per display will be drawn from all correct entries received. Participants need not be present to win.
For more information, contact Lorraine Melita at (607) 753-4009 or Gretchen Douglas at (607) 753-4029.