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Wanted: Banned books to support right to read

For two decades, The University of Toledo’s Banned Books Vigil has shined a spotlight on the right to read, speak, think and create freely.

That tradition will continue Thursday, Sept. 27, during the daylong vigil in Carlson Library Room 1005. Presentations will be given every half hour, and attendees will have the chance to win banned books, as well as other door prizes.

“Between 2000 and 2009, the Office for Intellectual Freedom processed 5,099 reports of challenges to books,” Dr. Paulette Kilmer, UT professor of communication and coordinator of the UT Banned Books Coalition, said. “This number will increase since many complaints are not reported until years after they occurred.

“Moreover, the American Library Association estimates the media does not cover 85 percent of challenges and bans. That’s why events like the UT Banned Books Vigil are so important. We need to support our First Amendment now more than ever.”

Kilmer noted Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and even the dictionary have been banned or challenged.

“Our fight for intellectual freedom is never over,” she said.

Become a “Champion of Freedom of Expression” by donating banned or challenged titles listed on the American Library Association’s website here.

Champions will be recognized by having their names appear in front of the titles they purchase, and their names will appear on a poster at the event.

Donations are requested by 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17. Books may be purchased at the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore. Cash donations also are welcome and will be used to purchase books. For assistance, contact Katrina Pedersen at toledo@bkstore.com or 419.530.2516.

For more information on the Banned Books Vigil, contact Kilmer at paulette.kilmer@utoledo.edu.