Banned Books Week Sept. 27- Oct. 3, 2015

Written by Michael Sutherland, Web Services Librarian

Banned Books Week Poster
Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.  Check out the display at the front entrance of the Calvin T. Ryan Library! The 2015 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 27th to October 3rd. The Calvin T. Ryan Library has materials that some individuals would likely find offensive. However that may be, librarians vigorously defend your right to freely access and read such material.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Thousands of books have been challenged since 1982. The 2014 list of frequently challenged books provided by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association, illustrates that censorship in the United States is still a serious problem.

For more information on banned and challenged books, go to:

For information about frequently challenged books, see:

International Literacy Day

Michael Sutherland, Web Services Librarian

Literacy Day Logo
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), about 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on the day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed a 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2003, as the United Nations Literacy Decade. The assembly also welcomed the International Plan of Action for the Decade and decided for UNESCO to take a coordinating role in activities at an international level within the decade’s framework. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. This day was first celebrated on September 8, 1966.

Although the UN’s International Literacy Day is a global observance and not a public holiday, let’s show the world the importance of literacy by celebrating International Literacy Day. Help join communities around the globe to act as a united voice in raising awareness for those who cannot read or write. You can celebrate simply by pulling up and settling into a comfy chair with a good book at the library.

Related links:

Protecting student-athletes: Read about the debate

Written by Jon Ritterbush, E-Resources and Serials Librarian

The debate over protecting and compensating student-athletes has gained greater attraction since a 2014 government ruling found that collegiate football players, under scholarship, are employees under the National Labor Relations Act. Should student-athletes have the right to other compensation, or to form a union and bargain collectively? What protections should be afforded to student-athletes who sustain sports-related injuries?

The June 2015 issues of Congressional Digest provides several perspectives on these questions, as well as a summary of recent legislative and executive branch actions related to this topic. Congressional Digest and its sister publications, Supreme Court Debates and International Debates, are all listed and accessible online from the library’s Articles & Databases collections. Here is a sampling of recent topics also addressed in these publications:

Please see the Articles & Databases listing for “Current Events and Issues” for Congressional Digest Debates and other library databases providing current news content and/or viewpoints.

Open Access Week, October 20-26, 2014

This week (October 20-26) is Open Access Week, an annual global event promoting open access as the new norm in scholarship and research.

According to,  “ ‘Open Access’ to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.”

The visibility of UNK research can be raised to a global scale when digital scholarship is made freely available online at no cost to readers. Sharing UNK research and scholarship on the open web will broaden its impact and create a global readership. Providing access to everyone, not just institutions that can afford to purchase journal subscriptions, helps to inspire creativity, enable innovation and to accelerate the development of important new discoveries.

Open Access Resources:

The Changing World of Information Access

Written by Janet Stoeger Wilke, Dean of the Library

In conjunction with Information Literacy month it is interesting to note that new studies are finding statistically significant improvement in the GPA of first year undergraduate students who use the library.Here is the link to one of the articles.

Soria, Krista, Jan Fransen, and Shane Nackerud. “Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students’ Retention and Academic Success.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 13.2 (2013): 147-64

To read further on this topic see:

The Hidden Costs of Providing Access to E-books

Written by Janet Stoeger Wilke, Dean of the Library

Calvin T. Ryan Library is beginning a series of blog posts about important issues in academic libraries and the changing world of information access. Topics will change frequently, older items will be available via the blog Archives.

The first post links to an article about E-books, their hidden costs and potential impact on the future of library collections. Follow the link for the full story.

The Hidden Costs of E-books at University Libraries [Times of San Diego]