The Knight-Capron Library at University of Lynchburg will hold a Read-Out Against Censorship on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. in the Capron Wing of the Library. Students are invited to bring a reading selection from a meaningful book, or a book that has been banned in a community at some point in its history.
There will also be a selection of books for attendees to read from if they are unable to bring a book. Refreshments will be served.
Lynchburg’s Read-Out Against Censorship began last year when first-year students were studying Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as part of the Common Reading program. The book sparked conversations about censorship and freedom of the press.
“Fahrenheit 451 alludes to the temperature it would take to burn a book,” said Haley Lott, public services librarian. Set in the 24th Century when literature has been banned and books are burned to prevent people from reading them, the book describes people who memorized books to keep their contents from being lost forever. “We took this idea and posed the question, If you could memorize a book in its entirety to save it from extinction, which book would you choose and why?” Lott explained.
Last year’s event was a success. “We started with a brief discussion about banned books and then went around the room so that people could read their passages and have discussions about the importance of books,” Lott said. The success of the 2016 event led the library staff to organize a sequel.
The Read-Out Against Censorship is held in conjunction with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, which celebrates the right to read and raises awareness of censorship. “We hope to have a great discussion about banned books, the First Amendment, and censorship,” Lott said.