Newton Gresham Library’s Position on Banning Books

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Shen

In celebration of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, the Newton Gresham Library assures that we are professionally dedicated to protecting your right to read without fear of censorship.

The Newton Gresham Library has an obligation to provide a diversity of knowledge to the students, faculty and staff at Sam Houston State University. This is a part of the library’s core mission to help create informed, lifelong readers.

Elizabeth Machuca

This information may include books considered by some to be controversial or immoral for library shelves. These banned books often face challenges from special interest groups, concerned citizens or everyday patrons who feel that certain books are unacceptable to be read by average library users.

What is controversial to some may be normal to others. The library stands against censorship in all forms. We strive to not allow personal bias to affect us when selecting the books for our patrons.

Some of the most highly challenged books in recent years are located right here in Newton Gresham Library as part a display in recognition of Banned Books Week.

Elizabeth Machuca

We have collected them because we feel they are important for scholarship at the university, give a voice to the voiceless or present a different point of view. Check them out and decide for yourself if the knowledge inside is valuable to you.

It is our hope that encountering information that conflicts with your long-held beliefs may expand your own intellectual horizons while here at SHSU.

If you do not agree with the belief system of those found in the books here, you do not have to change your long-held beliefs. A critical part of the university experience is to encounter new ideas and opinions. This will help you to grow as a scholar and gain understanding of the human condition in all its forms.

If you are deeply concerned by the content of some of the books on our shelves, please talk to us about it. We are always willing to listen to your concerns, just remember that books have due process here.

If you seek to remove a book from our shelves, know that it will remain accessible until a process of review is completed to determine if the book should be taken out of our collection.

Celebrate Banned Books Week this year by protecting your right to read by checking out some literature from the list and take a chance to gain new understanding in the process.

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