Fant Memorial Library on the campus of Mississippi University for Women will host Banned Books Week, Oct. 4-6.

Fant Library

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas.

“In the last two years, the number of books that people have tried to pull books off the shelves has reached historic highs. And I don’t think people realize the impact that taking a book away from people has – both on the people that might be reading it and on the people who make those books available,” said Hillary Richardson, undergraduate research coordinator and information literacy librarian. “

Throughout the week, Fant Library welcomes all visitors to participate in creative crafts and a scavenger hunt. The Columbus Public Library will have a dedicated table with postcards, pens and the addresses of authors whose books have been banned. Participants are encouraged to write words of encouragement or gratitude to these authors, and the librarians will ensure they are sent out the following week.

Additionally, free copies of “Just Mercy” will be available for distribution while supplies last.

All events and activities during Banned Books Week are free and open to the public. The event is organized in collaboration with the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy, the Columbus Public Library, Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and Fant Memorial Library.

Events planned for Banned Books Week:

Wed., Oct. 4:
• Queer Space/Safe Zone Gathering with special guest McKenna Raney-Gray of the ACLU at 2:00 p.m. in the Gail Gunter Room at the library.
• Banned Books Panel featuring engaging discussions from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Gail Gunter Room at the library.

Thurs., Oct. 5:
• Art Exhibit Opening and Wine Reception at the Columbus Arts Council starting at 5 p.m. Following the reception, a read aloud session at the Columbus Arts Council, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, October 6:
• Book Chat with students from The W and MSMS, discussing “Ban this Book” by Alan Gratz.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.