Hot Topics of the Week 9/23/16

Erin GallagherDid I miss something this week?  Was there some sort of “autumn equinox” I should have experienced?  Oh wait, that’s right; I live in Florida.  We may not have leaves changing color and temperatures dropping, but we do have a lot of activity on campus as “library instruction season” heats up.  Are you doing anything innovative in the classroom this semester?

Next week is an exciting one for libraries of all types.  It’s Banned Books Week!  We’re holding our second annual Banned Books Read-Out here in our library, but this time we’re gathering on our lovely front lawn.  All members of our college community can come together and read out from their favorite banned or challenged books (or other materials), enjoy pizza and snacks, and support others as they celebrate the freedom to read.  It’s rare that books are challenged or banned in higher education settings, so why is it important to highlight Banned Books Week?  I’d love to hear what others think, but for me, it has to do with cultural awareness and plurality of perspective.  We’re encouraging students to be global citizens and change-makers; to do so, they need to be open to a diversity of expression.  Beyond that, why not draw attention to the selfless pleasures of choosing a book, reading and enjoying it, and feeling more aware of the world because of it?

The arrival of autumn also gets me excited about my favorite conference: Charleston!  We’re a little more than a month away from another marvelous gathering of minds and hearts in one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.  Have you checked out the program?  I’m looking forward to a terrific preconference on Negotiating with Vendors, the annual reception at the South Carolina Aquarium (always a great shindig!), and, to toot my own horn a bit, the Closing Session and End-of-Conference Poll-a-Palooza.  This year, I’ll be sharing the stage with David Worlock, and I’m already anticipating witty banter beyond your wildest dreams.  We’ll see you there!

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