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2019 Banned Books reading moves to Davis Courtyard

The Coalition of Youth Librarians (COYL) and UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) hosted the annual Banned Books Reading on Tuesday, Sept. 24. SILS master’s students were joined by SILS Associate Professor Brian Sturm and Wilson Library Director Maria Estorino to share passages from books that have been challenged or banned in the United States.

To increase visibility, organizers staged the event in the Davis Library Courtyard and readers used a small PA to amplify their voices. The reading is held in conjunction with Carolina’s First Amendment Day celebration, sponsored by the UNC Center for Media and Law Policy and scheduled to coincide National Banned Books Week.

Estorino read from Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas and Sturm shared poems from A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. Master’s student Margaret Shelton read selections from The Awakening by Kate Chopin and Melissa Ferens read from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. COYL President Kat Zimmerman closed the reading with The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, which has been banned in the past because it portrays the foresting industry in a negative way.

Collage of photos of people reading from banned books.
Banned book readers, top row: Margaret Shelton and Brian Sturm. Bottom row, from left, Melissa Ferens, Kat Zimmerman, and Maria Estorino.