Student Art Exhibition in Hackney Library Reflects Censorship Themes Represented by Banned Books

Updated photo of Barton Art League display relating to Censorship and Banned Books.

Update:  A few more pieces have been added to the student art exhibit since this post was first published.  Drop by when you can to see them all!

Banned Books Week might be over, but its influence is not.  Now on display in Hackney Library (in the student art gallery area near the elevator on the first floor) is an exhibit of student art from members of the Barton Art League (BAL).  The display, inspired by the Banned Books Week exhibit outside the library’s classroom of banned or challenged books, reflects themes related to censorship and the perils that go with it.  (The Banned Books Week exhibit will remain up a bit longer to give everyone a chance to check out a banned or challenged book.)

The Barton Art League describes itself as “made up of Barton students who have a genuine passion for art and all the creative fields.  We are not limited to visual arts.”   One of the BAL‘s  goals is to display as much student art on campus as possible, not only in Hackney Library but all over campus.  Any student is welcome to join BAL, not just art students.  If you are interested in participating, contact Nicola Macdonald at; they are looking to become more active and welcome all newcomers.

Come take a look at the BAL’s Student Art Exhibition, and see how your fellow students’ art reflects the theme of anti-censorship represented by Banned Books Week.

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Banned Books Week 2018: “Banning Books Silences Stories. Speak Out!!

Who would have thought that censorship is alive and well in the United States?  Yet, nowhere is it seen more explicitly than in recent attempts to ban or challenge various books from being made available through school, public, and university libraries.

While there may be valid concern over a particular book’s effect on its intended audience, banning books is not the answer; more discussion and education about the sometimes controversial issues these books address is.  (As an example of one such concern, the Wake County Schools recently repeated a warning to parents originally issued by the National Association of School Psychologists not to allow students prone to depression to watch–or not to watch alone–the first season of the Netflix teen drama series “Thirteen Reasons Why,” over fear of the potential for increased teen suicides it might spawn.  The show is based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, and that novel is #1 on 2017’s top 10 list of  most frequently challenged books.  For more information about Wake County Schools’ actions, see this May 7, 2018 article in the Raleigh News and Observer.  It’s important to note that the Wake County Schools have not banned the original novel on which the series is based).

This year, The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials in 2017, involving 416 books challenged or banned in 2017 (some challenges may have included more than one title).  And the number of challenges keeps going up:   2017’s challenged/banned books totaled 31% more than 2016’s, and 2016’s number of challenged books was 17% higher than the year before that.  Often, but not always, challenged or banned books are children’s or young adult books, many of which are considered classics.

Along with 13 other organizations, the ALA sponsors Banned Books Week every year to encourage readers to resist these censorship threats by checking out challenged or banned books, thereby making their own decisions about the books they read.  This year’s Banned Books Week theme is Banning Books Silences Stories.  Speak Out!  Banned Books Week 2018 is being celebrated from September 23-29.

In celebration of Banned Books Week, Hackney Library has put on display copies of print books in our collection that have made Banned Books lists in the past (look for the bright yellow “Caution!” tape around the display near the library’s Technology Classroom on the first floor).  Some of the titles of challenged or banned books in our display may really surprise you.  Our display will begin on Monday, September 24; all the titles on the display may be checked out.

The reasons for book challenges and bans run the gamut across the political and social spectrum; the most frequently-cited reasons for book challenges include the following:

  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive language
  • Content unsuited to the targeted age group
  • Violence
  • Homosexuality
  • Expression of religious viewpoint
  • Drug use

The top 10 challenged books in 2017, listed below, include mostly titles that Hackney Library does not own, except for number 4, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner; and number 7, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  Some are repeats from previous years’ lists, while others are included for the first time.

TOP 10 CHALLENGED OR BANNED BOOKS OF 2017 from ALA’s web site):

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher  Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie  Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.
  3. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier  This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”
  4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini  (in Hackney Library’s Fiction Collection:  Call number F H7949k)  This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”
  5. George written by Alex Gino  Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.
  6. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth  This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee  (In Hackney Library’s Young Adult Collection:  Call number YA L512t)   This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.
  8. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas  Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug useprofanity, and offensive language.
  9. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole  Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.
  10. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas  This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

So let’s not silence those stories, let’s talk about them instead:  “Speak out” against censorship by checking out a banned or challenged book from our display today!

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Dr. Jeremy Strickler to Explore the Relationship Between the U.S. Constitution and the American Presidency during Constitution Day Program

Dr. Jeremy Strickler

UPDATE:  Due to the disruption expected by the arrival of impending Hurricane Florence, this program will be rescheduled for a later date.

Hackney Library is pleased to announce that Dr. Jeremy Strickler, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Service at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), will be the featured speaker at our annual Constitution Day reception and program.  Constitution Day is traditionally celebrated each September 17 to mark the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution on that date in 1787.

The event will be held this year on Monday, September 17, 2018 at Barton College’s Hackney Library from 5:00-6:30 pm.  A reception with refreshments will begin at 5:00 pm in the Learning Commons on the first floor, followed by the program at 5:30 pm, during which Dr. Strickler will address issues concerning “The Constitution and the American Presidency: The Prospects and Constraints of Democratic Leadership.  After the presentation, a question-and-answer period will conclude the program.

This free event is sponsored by Hackney Library and is open to the Barton community as well as to the general public.

Prior to joining UTC in 2016, Dr. Strickler taught American politics and public policy courses at Willamette University and Cameron University.  His research and teaching interests are in political institutions, policy history, and American political development.  His current research explores the historical dynamic between the American presidency, war, and domestic policy.  Over the course of this project he has conducted extensive research at the presidential archives of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson.  He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Oregon in spring 2015.  He is married to Dr. Lucy Schultz, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barton College.

Please join us for this informative look at the interrelationship between the Constitution and the presidency this September 17.




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Vivian Howard–Chef, Author, and TV Star–To Be the Featured Speaker at a Jointly-Sponsored Fall 2018 Friends Event

Vivian Howard (Photo Credit: Rex Miller)

UPDATE:  We have good news!  We are opening up this event to non-Friends members, so if you are interested in attending, please come by either Hackney Library or the Wilson County Public Library ASAP to pick up an invitation.  Deadline for RSVPs and payment is now Monday, October 1, 2018 by 5 pm; we will take RSVPs on a first-come, first-served basis.

Barton College’s Friends of Hackney Library and the Friends of the Wilson County Public Library are cooking up a feast for their jointly-sponsored Fall 2018 Dinner/Lecture.   The featured speaker at the event will be Vivian Howard, Kinston chef, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling author, and star of PBS’s award-winning television show, A Chef’s Life.   The event will be held on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 5:30-8 pm, in Wilson Gym on the campus of Barton College.

Because of Howard’s prior commitments, the schedule of events will begin and end earlier than for a typical Friends event:  A wine reception and book signing will be held from 5:306:30 pm (note the earlier start time), followed by dinner at 6:30 pm and the program at 7:15 pm.  Copies of Howard’s New York Times bestselling cookbook, Deep Run Roots:  Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, will be available for purchase, and Howard will be available to sign them, during the wine reception/book signing only (not after the program).  The debut cookbook has won numerous awards, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Cookbook of the Year Award in 2017, as well as its additional awards in three of four categories in which it was a finalist:  General, Chefs and Restaurants, and Julia Child First Book.

Vivian Howard is the owner and award-winning chef of two Kinston restaurants (the acclaimed Chef & The Farmer Progressive Eatery and the Boiler Room Oyster Bar).  In 2017, she and her husband and business partner, Ben Knight, opened a third, Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria, in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Next on the docket is a bakery in Kinston called Handy and Hot, to feature sweet and savory hand pies and serving a need in Kinston for “a place to get an excellent cup of coffee, and something tasty, creative, and satisfying for breakfast and lunch,” says Howard in an “Eater” interview with Hillary Dixler Canavan.  These hand pies, shallow-fried in lard, are a throwback to Howard’s childhood, when she ate them growing up at B & S Café in Deep Run, her hometown.  B & S Café chef Claire Merrell Barwick shared her secret with Howard long after she retired:  Soft dough, rolled so thin as to be translucent.  As Howard recounts in the “Eater” interview, “That’s what sets these apart from an empanada or a Jamaican meat patty….Delicate is what you’re going for.”  Handy and Hot is slated to open in the same block as her two other Kinston eateries.

Howard’s inaugural cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South (featuring more than 200 recipes celebrating the flavors of eastern North Carolina), was nominated for a James Beard Award for the American Cooking category and has won four awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in these categories:  Cookbook of the Year, Julia Child First Book, Chefs & Restaurants, and General.  In addition, Deep Run Roots was selected as the winner of the 2017 Southern Book Prize for the Nonfiction – Cooking category, and it debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list.  Howard describes the book this way: “Part story, part history, part recipes, I’d like to think Deep Run Roots is much more than a cookbook.  And I hope it’s the first of many books like it [that] I get to write.”  Howard is now at work on a second book.

Not only is Vivian Howard a successful restaurateur and a New York Times bestselling and acclaimed author, she is also the star of the award-winning PBS television show, A Chef’s Life, which wrapped its fifth and final season this past spring.  According to a July 25, 2018 Eater interview, a last “Harvest Special” series epilogue of sorts will air in the fall of 2018. The show, with some 2.5 million viewers per episode, garnered a Peabody award, two Daytime Emmy awards (in 2015, for Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary/Travel Program; and in 2018, for Outstanding Culinary Program), and a James Beard award (2015, for Outstanding Personality/Host).

But Howard’s not yet finished with television:  Drew Jackson with the Raleigh News and Observer reports in a July 24, 2018 article that Howard has a new series of six one-hour episodes in production, tentatively titled South by Somewhere, that will feature “Howard playing the part of culinary anthropologist and showcasing the foods and traditions that cross and connect cultures.”  Like A Chef’s Life, the new show will also air on PBS and will be produced by Markay Media.

Howard has also just picked up a second James Beard award (2018’s Best Instructional Video, for her step-by-step instructions for making black bean glazed salmon with ginger cabbage for the website

Howard, her husband, and their two children live in Deep Run, North Carolina, near Kinston.

Admission to this event is $45 per person.  We expect a large turnout for this limited seating program, so priority admission by mailed invitation only is limited to the following:

  •  Current member couples of either the Friends of Hackney Library or the Friends of the Wilson County Public Library, and to
  • A current individual member of either group, plus one guest.

The members’ RSVP deadline is 5:00 pm on Monday, September 17, 2018.  In the event that there are still spaces available after the September 17 members’ deadline, we will open the event up to non-members, and the non-members’ RSVP deadline for that group will be Monday, October 1, 2018.

For more information about the event, please contact Ann Dolman at (252) 399-6507, or email the Friends of Hackney Library at


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Hackney Library’s Web Site Gets a Makeover!

The librarians at Hackney Library have been working hard on a variety of changes to our electronic resources during the summer, and none more so than Technology Librarian Josh Newport.

A sample screen shot of the web site’s new look.

One of the changes you’ll notice from last semester is that our web page has a whole new look and feel than in the past, but no worries—everything on the old page has been transferred to the new, albeit in perhaps a slightly different place (plus some new things have been added).  One of the biggest enhancements is the scalability of the new page; the new design makes it much more usable on a variety of devices (mobile as well as desktop).  It’s still a work in progress, so you may yet see changes before it’s finalized in time for fall classes.

The new look to one of our course guides is illustrated above.

Also over the summer, we have been making navigational changes to our online helps, called LibGuides, moving from top (tab) navigation to side navigation, which will make it easier to find the tools and information you’re looking for more intuitively.   These changes affect both Course Guides, which are geared to specific courses, and our Subject Guides, which gather tools for each specific discipline major together in one place.

Another change is that we are removing our ebooks from our online catalog and redirecting you to search for ebooks in the individual databases in which they’ve always resided.  This change has occurred because the content of the ebook databases is modified so frequently (some books are dropped while others are added) that it makes it difficult to keep our catalog up to date.  (If you’ve ever located an ebook through our catalog only to discover it was no longer available in the database the catalog pointed you toward, you’ll know how frustrating an experience that can be!  Removing the ebooks from our catalog will eliminate that frustration.)  Ebooks will still be discoverable, however, through our OneSearch function.

In addition to these modifications, Josh Newport has also been doing considerable modifications “under the hood” to make sure that everything is running as smoothly as possible.  You may see evidence of that in the change in the proxy login screen you will now see when accessing our subscription databases from off campus with your Barton login.

After you get acclimated to all the modifications, we hope you will find Hackney Library’s web site and other online tools easier to navigate and use.  If you run into dead links or have other kinds of problems, please contact Josh Newport (; 252-399-6509).



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Hackney Library to Mark the Start of the New Academic Year with its “Charmed” 13th Annual Open House!

Preview of the front of the Open House T-Shirt

Some claim that 13 is an unlucky number, but not Hackney Library!

That’s because we will be hosting our 13th Annual OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, August 23, from 4-6 pm, on the first floor of Hackney Library, and we feel sure that good luck will abound on that auspicious day–how could it not when we will be giving away loads of prizes, food, t-shirts and other goodies to attendees?!

During the event, we will be introducing new students, faculty, and staff to the services offered by the Library, the Office of Student Success, Information Technology (IT), and the Ragan Writing Center, and we will be welcoming back returning students and employees.  The event is also open to the Wilson community.

The annual Open House is sponsored by Hackney Library and the Friends of Hackney Library.

Carrying on our tradition, we will have plenty of freebies for attendees to enjoy:

  • Preview of the back of the Open House T-Shirt

    Those who complete a brief online survey at the event will once again receive a highly-prized Library Open House t-shirt, designed this year by new Barton alumna Aimee Nicole West (B.A., Art & Design, Spring 2018), featuring a theme relating to the library (see the preview above!).

  • In addition, other giveaways will be available to attendees visiting eight “stations” around the library.  Each is designed to introduce new Barton community members to the Library’s, OSS’s, IT’s, and the Ragan Writing Center’s faculty/staff/tutors and services, as well as to refresh the memory of returnees.  (Students must visit all eight to be eligible for door prizes [see below].)
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth by partaking of our “build-your-own” scrumptious ice cream sundae again this year in the library’s foyer (with the help of Tony Tilley, Michelle Casale, and their amazing Aramark crew).

And last but not least, a door prize drawing for some really stupendous prizes will be held at 5:30 pm, so plan to hang around until then, as you must be present to win! 

Feeling lucky?  Here’s a list of door prizes you could score (if you’re present!) during the drawing at 5:30:

  • Google Home Mini (hands-free help powered by the Google Assistant)
  • Single K-Cup Coffee Maker (+ 5 free K-cups of coffee!)
  • Bluetooth Waterproof, Sweat-Proof, Noise-Cancelling Wireless Earbuds (2 sets!)
  • Jackery Giant+ External Battery Charger with Emergency Flashlight for iPhone, Samsung and Others
  • Mophie Portable Bluetooth Charging Case (A wireless charging case for Bluetooth devices)
  • Colored Sticky Notes Set (with holder)
  • OontZ Angle Plus Portable Wireless Speaker
  • $25 Gift Card for Papa John’s Pizza
  • $25 Gift Card for Starbucks
  • $25 Gift Card for Panera Bread

An opportunity to join the Friends of Hackney Library will be also be available at a table at the event for those who’d like to support the work of the library while reaping the benefits of membership.

So come check us out on Thursday, August 23rd from 4-6 pm and see what Lady Luck has in store for you at this 13th Annual Hackney Library Open House!

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Exams are Right Around the Corner, and so is “Study ‘Round the Clock,” coming Friday, May 4!

  • A quiet, safe space to study, collaborate, and complete assignments.  Check.
  • 4 days of 24-hour library availability.  Check.
  • Free hot beverages.  Check.

There’s all this and more during the return to Hackney Library of “Study ‘Round the Clock” during exam period!  It all begins on Reading Day, May 4, 2018 and carries through to the end of final exams on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.  As always, for much of this exam period, the library will remain open 24/7.

The library will be open the following hours during Spring 2017 Reading Day and Exams:

  • Friday, May 4 (Reading Day) through Saturday, May 5: Open 8 am Friday, remaining open continuously until closing at 7 pm Saturday
  • Sunday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 9: Open 2 pm Sunday, remaining open continuously until closing at 6 pm Wednesday
  • Thursday-Friday, May 10-11: 8 am – 5 pm

“Study ‘Round the Clock” provides an additional 34 hours that the library will be open during exam period compared to the regular semester. In addition, during exams, free coffee, tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate will be available while supplies last to Barton students, faculty, and staff.

During these 24/7 periods, library services will be available from 8 am until midnight only. From midnight until 8 am the following morning, no library services will be available, but a police officer will be on hand providing security during that time. (Access will be limited to Barton students only during the midnight to 8 am time slots. Barton ID will be required for admission from midnight until 8 am).

So plan to visit Hackney Library during exams (remember to bring your ID for admission after midnight!) to get some extra study time in, and get your favorite hot beverage for free!

“Study ‘Round the Clock” is sponsored by Hackney Library, the Friends of Hackney Library, the Barton College Office of Student Affairs, and the Barton Student Government Association.

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