September 15th, 2014 by twilson
Banned Book Week begs freedom of choice
By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
You can’t please everyone.
That’s especially true when it comes to books. One person’s gem is another’s must to avoid. When it comes to reading, there are many examples of intolerance. From The Hunger Games to Captain Underpants to the Holy Bible, all have been banned at one time or another.
Celebrating the freedom to read is the idea behind National Banned Book Week, Sept. 21-27. The annual observance by the American Library Association draws attention to censorship issues. Catawba County Library will observe the week with a display of banned books at Main Library in Newton as well as St. Stephens Branch.
Some banned titles may surprise you: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. The Merriam-Webster dictionary is there too, by the way. It contains inappropriate words for children, objectors say.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank has been banned over the years. Nevertheless, that play will be presented next month as a main stage production by the Green Room in Newton. Catawba County Library in Newton will support the project with a display from the Anne Frank Center in New York all month. The library will also host Holocaust survivor Dr. Walter Ziffer at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 16. Ziffer, a Road Scholar with the N.C. Humanities Council, will share his experiences in a talk, “Witness to the Holocaust.”
Through history the usual reasons for banning books are offensive language, sexuality, religious viewpoints or themes that raise uncomfortable questions. In the process of censoring, values of one group are imposed on another—an age-old conflict for which there are no easy answers.
Freedom to read what one chooses is one of the tenets of a free society and the focus of Banned Book Week. A particular title may paint a certain group in a less-than-glowing light. A book may raise issues some would rather leave in the closet. Language used in the past may offend 21st century sensibilities just as the name of one author may rile potential readers. But in the end, we are all better off for having the opportunity to share our viewpoints and to learn how others view the world.
Such knowledge allows us to avoid repeating history’s mistakes.
Register to vote at the library
In celebration of National Voter Registration Day, Catawba County Library will have displays and voter registration forms available at all library facilities.
The registration drive encourages citizens to sign up in time for the November elections. Library locations include the Main Library in Newton as well as Conover, Claremont, Maiden, Sherrills Ford, St. Stephens and Southwest (Mountain View).
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept. 23. The observance is sponsored by a nonpartisan group to ensure that as many potential voters are properly registered by Election Day, Nov. 4.
According to the Pew Center on the States, an estimated one in eight registered voters have registrations that are incorrect or are ineligible for some reason. For example, if you’ve moved, you must update your address.
Library staff will make the registration forms available. Individual voters must return the forms to the Board of Elections office by hand delivery or through the postal service. Questions about voter registration should be directed to the Catawba County Board of Elections Office at the county Government Center or by calling (828) 464-2424.
County library offers learning for seniors
Catawba County Library System will host a series of programs for senior citizens later this month. The non-commercial sessions are offered free as a community service.
“Plan and Prepare for Long-Term Care” will be presented at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at St. Stephens Branch.
“Money Management: Financial Literacy for Seniors” will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Maiden.
“Being a Safe Senior at Home” is scheduled at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at St. Stephens.
Reservations are not required. For more information, contact the St. Stephens Branch at 466-6821 or Maiden at 828-428-2712.
Watch for these DVDs
Several new DVDs are coming to Catawba County Library. Place your “holds” now on movies soon to be available for free checkout, such as:
Ida—(Drama) A young Polish noviate learns a dark family secret before taking her vows.
Earth to Echo—(Adventure, Sci-Fi) After receiving a bizarre series of coded messages, kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.
Edge of Tomorrow—(Action, Sci-Fi) An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with aliens. His union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer to defeating the enemy.
Persecuted – (Drama, Mystery) An evangelist finds himself framed for murder and on the run after he refuses to back a senator’s proposition calling for sweeping religious reform.
The Rover—(Crime, Drama) Ten years after a world economic collapse, a hardened loner pursues the men who stole his only possession, his car.
Place a hold on these and other movies at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library or visit any county library location: Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford or Southwest.
Gold mining, highways topic of library history programs
History buffs are in luck this month as Catawba County Library System offers two free programs of local interest.
Gold mining in North Carolina will be discussed by Vivian P. Hopkins on Thursday, Sept. 25, while Dr. Gary Freeze will address bypasses and highways in Catawba County on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Both presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Main Library in Newton. The public is cordially invited.
Hopkins, vice president of the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation of Rowan County, will present her Road Scholar talk “If Picks and Shovels Could Talk: Gold Mining History in North Carolina.” The Wilkes County native has spent much of her life researching gold mining history in the state and has authored several books on the subject.
She currently serves as vice president of the Historic Gold Hill Foundation. Her appearance is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Freeze, a professor of history at Catawba College in Salisbury, will share research about the impact of Business Route 321, Interstate 40 and other local highways. He is at work on his third book of Catawba County history—The Catawbans Volume III due out next year.
Freeze, a Salisbury resident, is regarded as Catawba County’s historian, having written several volumes concerning Catawba County history over the years. Other topics in his program series will be baby boomers on Nov. 11 and shopping malls and mass merchandisers on Dec. 2.
Both programs are suitable for students and adults. For more information about either program, contact Tammy Wilson, public information officer, at 465-8661. .
Category: Uncategorized | Comments Off