Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide Open?

September 23, 2014 12:23 PM

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On September 5, the Evans Library of the Florida Institute of Technology sponsored a Banned Books Read-Out of censored comics and graphic novels. Dean of Libraries Sohair Wastawy recalls growing up in her native Egypt, which has seen its share of censorship, too. It is fascinating to explore cultural differences in regard to censorship. While some cultures are uncomfortable with what they view as blasphemous works, others are more concerned with overt sexuality. Some prohibit political opposition to the ruling party or royalty. In the United States, the public has generally tolerated written attacks on our elected officials, but many have supported the removal of Harry Potter books from schools and public libraries for its witchcraft themes.

As an academic librarian myself, I am happy when colleges and universities celebrate Banned Books Week. The general public might be surprised that higher education is responsible for creating many barriers to the freedom to read and study and speak. And these barriers are getting higher and more com...

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