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SENYLRC: Banned Books Symposium
Saturday, May 04, 2024, 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM EDT
Category: Continuing Education

Banned Books Symposium - Proactive, Reactive, and Supportive

Saturday, May 4

8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Dutchess BOCES Conference Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Cost: $25, includes lunch

This half-day conference will feature presentations in all capacities of banned and challenged books and programs. This Symposium is in partnership with Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, Ramapo Catskill Library System, Mid-Hudson Library System, Mount Saint Mary College, SUNY New Paltz and BOCES School Library Systems of Dutchess, Orange-Ulster, Rockland, Sullivan, and Ulster.

Keynote Speaker: Jeff Trexler

Jeff Trexler has served since 2020 as Interim Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting free expression and the legal rights of the comics community. He has extensive experience providing strategic advice to librarians, teachers, retailers, publishers, creators, legislators, and even law enforcement on responding to attempts to restrict access to graphic novels. An attorney himself, he is also the first CBLDF director since its founding in 1986 to provide direct legal representation in censorship cases, most notably the successful defense of Gender Queer against an unconstitutional attempt to prohibit the book’s sale or distribution in Virginia.


Breakout Sessions

Session 1:

Programming Banned Books: Speaker Panels, Read-outs, and Positive Engagement (Academic) Susan Wood, Suffolk County Community College, Long Island
The presenter will provide an overview of the multiple events coordinated with a variety of college stakeholders, such as the LGBTQ+ Task Force and the College Seminar Service Learning Committee. This presentation will cover the planning process, structure, and outcomes of these events, as well as provide ideas for successfully planning events with stakeholders and avoiding common pitfalls associated with programming that addresses emotional and controversial topics in these politically-polarized times.

NYU Division of Libraries’ Days of Learning (DoL DoL) Program on Book Banning (Academic) Lauren Kehoe, New York University
This presentation will provide an overview of how the topic of book banning was organized as a DoL DoL including the LibGuide used to create a virtual community around this event and go into detail about the different activities (keynote speaker, banned book reading groups, local and national advocacy, and purchase banned books for our library) that were planned to engage with this topic synchronously and asynchronously across the Division of Libraries. Suggestions will also be made for adaptability at other libraries.

Censorship: Past and Present (General Audience) Mara Zonderman, Westhampton Free Library & Terry Lucas, Director, Shelter Island Public Library
Is the increase we’ve seen in censorship in the past few years just the latest turn of the historical wheel, or is it something qualitatively different from what we’ve seen before? Join Librarians Terry Lucas, former lawyer and bookseller, and Mara Zonderman, former lawyer and civil liberties lobbyist, as they bring their experience to bear on censorship past and present.

The Banned Books Trading Card Project (Public) Katie Karkheck & Caroline Siecke-Pape, Valley Cottage Library
Valley Cottage Library breaks down their 2023 Banned Books Week trading cards project from the community partnerships they formed down to the specifics of acting as an art jury. Learn how they accomplished this amazing project from creation to completion and everything they learned along the way.

Session 2:

American Library Association (ALA) and Unite Against Book Bans (UABB): Perspectives on Messaging and Resources for Your Library (General Audience) Christopher Harris, Genesee Valley BOCES SLS and ALA Unite Against Book Bans Policy Corp
Dr. Christopher Harris, a Senior Policy Fellow with the American Library Association and Director of the Genesee Valley BOCES School Library System will facilitate a discussion on establishing a more library focused narrative around book banning using resources from the Unite Against Book Bans campaign.

ARE YOU READY FOR A CHALLENGE? How a library’s interactive immersion experience helped to train against the wave of book bans (Public) Eugenia Schatoff, Pearl River Public Library & Melissa Mounier, Summer 2023 Library School Intern
Learn about Pearl River Public Library’s Book Challenge Simulator. The Book Challenge Simulator was created to test the participants’ ability to persuade different members of the public in the name of protecting and advocating for educational freedom and to evaluate participants’ understanding of different facets of their communities and patron base.

Advocacy Matters: Protecting our LGBTQIA+ Picture Book Characters (Schools) Dorothy Luongo, Krieger Elementary School, Hudson Valley Writing Project
This session focuses on the unique position of picture books to deepen understanding of queer identities and how to meet New York State mandates for embracing diversity and providing Dignity for All Students. We will examine specific instances of censorship at the elementary level and peruse a selection of picture books and detail their role in combating a cycle of silence driven by fear and lack of knowledge.

Banned Books Go to College (Academic) Emily Doyle, Marist College, Elizabeth Clarke, Marist College, & Amanda Lowe, University at Albany, SUNY
This panel session with staff from Marist College James A. Cannavino Library and University Libraries at the University at Albany, SUNY promises a comprehensive exploration of two distinct journeys of engaging student communities in Banned Books Week initiatives and how each contributes to the broader conversation on the significance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

Register Here