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News Release

Banned Books Day at Moravian College to Raise Awareness about Censorship

Bethlehem, Pa., October 25, 2007—The Friends of Reeves Library at Moravian College will sponsor a Banned Books event on October 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Reeves Library. Dr. Gordon Weil, vice-president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty, will introduce the program and present the first reading.

Emily Gibbons ’09, Edison, N.J., and Geoffrey Roche ’08, Bethlehem, Pa., student members of the Friends of Reeves Library, proposed the idea to observe “Banned Book Week,” established by the  American Library Association to raise awareness and advocate for the availability of books that may contain unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints. They have recruited and organized students, faculty, administrators, and staff volunteers to read at four different library sites during the day at the Afterwards Café and the Groenfeldt Collection Area on the lower level, and the Sara Weller Lounge and the Children’s Collection Area on the first floor.

Ann Claussen, director of the Haupert Union Building (HUB) and member of  The Friends of the Library will display the art work of Colleen Kane ’08, Bethlehem, Pa., in the HUB “to invite everyone to attend this provocative and interesting program throughout the day.”

Titles of the books to be read are selected from the American Library Association (ALA) lists of challenged and banned books that are listed each year. Rita Berk, director of Reeves Library, points to a distinction between a challenged book which means that it has been brought into question, and a banned book that was withdrawn by authorities.

Readers will provide information about the books they chose, and discuss why the book was challenged. Many of the books are classics and old favorites and many are read in high schools.

The program will conclude with a reading by Rev. Otto Dreydoppel, assistant professor of Church History at Moravian College Theological Seminary, from I Am Regina by author Sally M. Keehn, who then will tell her personal story about the challenge.

Keehn was born in London, England, but grew up on her grandfather's farm in Maryland. After attending Hood College and Drexel University, she wrote a travel book on Pennsylvania Dutch country with her husband, David C. Keehn. From this experience she drew the inspiration to begin a career in writing and has gone on to write numerous historical fiction and contemporary fiction novels for young adults. She currently lives with her husband in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she is working on another book project.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.