Monthly Archives: September 2019

Banned Books Week (September 22 – 28)

Each year, the Ames Library joins the American Library Association, along with “librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types,” in celebrating intellectual freedom and the freedom to read during Banned Books Week.

Founded in 1982, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Island Trees School District v Pico (1982) that “the First Amendment limits the power of junior high and high school officials to remove books from school libraries because of their content,” Banned Books Week reminds us that attempts are made every year to censor books, comics and graphic novels, games, and other media, and that it is our ongoing responsibility as readers, writers, teachers, and content creators to speak out for the right to read freely.

According to the American Library Association, there were at least 347 challenges to library, school, and university library materials or services in 2018, including attempts to limit, censor, or ban access to more than 475 titles, including: The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas; This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki; and, Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan. An introduction to the “Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018” is available on YouTube. Additional information on attempts to censor comic books and other graphic media is available through the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The Ames Library, like Illinois Wesleyan University, is committed to the ideal of a liberal education, which depends on one’s ability to read freely and fully, both during one’s education and for a lifetime. Visit the library during the upcoming weeks to see our annual exhibition of “banned books” available to you in the library collection. For an added bonus, visit the Banned Books Week YouTube channel to hear University Librarian Scott Walter read from some of his favorites on “Top 10” lists in past years, including Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

If you would like to include a discussion of intellectual freedom, the freedom to read, or efforts to censor library materials or other content available through libraries, booksellers, television, film, or the internet in your classes, please contact your liaison librarian.

Coming Home to the Library

The Ames Library will be hosting a number of events throughout Homecoming Weekend and we look forward to welcoming alumni, family, and friends to events in Ames, the Memorial Center, and around campus.

On Friday, we will host a reception celebrating the opening of the Kindred Collection, with comments from Dave Kindred (’63). On Saturday, we will host the 9th annual “mini-museum” in Eckley Lounge from 8:00 – 11:30 am, providing a “condensed view” of IWU history, including highlights from the University Archives. Also on Saturday, we will get a first-hand look at IWU history when we open the Evans Observatory Time Capsule on the 50th anniversary of its original placement, also in Eckley Lounge, at 10:45 am. Finally, we will be offering opportunities throughout the weekend for alumni to make contributions to our IWU Oral Histories Collection (reservations required).

We look forward to seeing all our alumni during Homecoming, and are especially interested in re-connecting with “our” alumni, the former student employees of Buck, Sheean, Thorpe, and Ames libraries. If you are a former IWU student library employee, please come to sign our “alumni” book at the Library Services Desk and update your contact information so that we can continue to share updates and information with you about how the library continues to contribute to student success at Illinois Wesleyan.

Opening the Kindred Collection

Dave Kindred (’63) left the Illinois Wesleyan baseball team for one of the most storied careers in sports journalism one could imagine, including stints with the National Sports Daily, Sporting News, and Washington Post. Golf Digest, for which Kindred also wrote, recently concluded that “it is almost impossible to describe just how good Dave Kindred is and has been at what he does,” while listing the many awards he has received for his work, including the Red Smith Award, given by the Associated Press Sports Editors for “major contributions to sports journalism,” and the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sports Writing, given by the Center for Sports Communication and Media at the University of Texas at Austin for lifetime achievement in sportswriting. In 2016, this member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame donated over 50 years of his personal papers to the Tate Archives and Special Collections.

As part of Homecoming 2019, we will welcome Kindred, along with friends, colleagues, and classmates, to the opening of the Dave Kindred Papers, which include notebooks, scrapbooks, photos, and research materials drawn from his many books, including Sound and Fury: Two Powerful Lives, One Fateful Friendship (2007), his study of the relationship between Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell.

Please join us for this celebration of Kindred’s career on Friday, October 4th. Information on this event, as well as other homecoming activities, is now available through the Alumni Association.

The Dave Kindred Papers were processed by Visiting Project Archivist Sarah Lindesbaum, Meg Miner, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, and student employees in the Tate Archives and Special Collections. If you have any questions about the Kindred Collection or the opening reception, please contact Meg Miner.