Tag: virtual event

Defending Access: Librarian Perspectives on Banned Books

When intellectual freedom is at risk, librarians are often on the front lines of protecting communities’ access to information. Hear from alumni librarians about their experiences and what they’re doing to defend our right to read.

Join Wayne State University’s School of Information Sciences’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Program Planning Committee for the panel discussion Defending Access: Librarian Perspectives on Banned Books.

The panel will be moderated by alumnus Lance Werner, executive director of the Kent District Library and a member of the School of Information Sciences’ (SIS) Advisory Board. Werner was recently named to the Grand Rapids 200, a list of the 200 most powerful and influential people in West Michigan for 2022.


  • Event host – Allia McCoy, Social Sciences (AKA Social Justice) Librarian, WSU Library System
  • Amy Churchill, Library Director, Lapeer District Library
  • Jordan Wright, Assistant Director, Ferndale Area District Library
  • Nakenya Lewis-Yarbrough, Youth Services Librarian, Belleville Area District Library
  • Selena Aguilera, Community Engagement Librarian, Taylor Community Library

This will be a hybrid event, available both live online and in person at the Bernath Auditorium on Wayne State’s main campus. The panel discussion will be followed by a brief reception where you’ll have the opportunity to network with the panelists as well as SIS students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the Wayne State community. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance via the registration form.

Off the Shelf: Book Bans, Challenges and Promoting Inclusive Literature

Book challenges and bans have been increasing across the country, both in schools and districts where laws have been passed, but also where no formal rules, restrictions or laws exist. When large scale book bans take place, it affects young people’s ability to see themselves reflected in books. It also impacts their ability to gain an understanding of and empathy for people who are different than themselves, which contributes to antisemitism, racism and all forms of bias.

Join ADL and AASL (American Association of School Librarians) to learn more about book challenges and bans and explore actions that can be taken.

Children’s book author Kelly Yang and a powerful group of panelists—including a teacher, high school student, librarian, and parent (from Florida Freedom to Read Project)—will address how book challenges and bans have impacted them in their unique roles and will discuss what we can do about what’s happening in schools and libraries. The program includes Q+A and a book giveaway of five banned books.