Defending Access: Librarian Perspectives on Banned Books

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October 4, 2023
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Undergraduate Library, David Adamany Bernath Auditorium
5155 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Event category: Panel/Discussion
RSVP is closed.

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 and staff and members of the Wayne State community.

The event will take place during Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023), an annual event sponsored by a coalition of organizations dedicated to free expression celebrating the freedom to read. According to the American Library Association, Banned Books Week spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all types in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

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.

October 2023