BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Banned Books Week, the annual spotlight on book censorship and intellectual freedom, is taking place Sept. 18-24. The Deschutes Public Library is recognizing the week with a virtual panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, discussing what censorship looks like in Central Oregon.
April Witteveen, Library Director of the Crook County Public Library, Emily O’Neal, Technical Services Manager at the Deschutes Public Library, and Pia Alliende, district librarian for the Redmond School District, are speaking about their personal experience with challenged and banned books in Central Oregon.
Carly Keenan is meeting with library staff to learn more about how they are marking the week. She’ll have a full report on NewsChannel 21 at Five.
Here’s some background on each of Thursday’s panelists:
Emily O’Neal, Technical Services Manager at Deschutes Public Library: Emily has been a member of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Committee since October 2020, and began serving as co-chair for the OIFC starting with the fiscal year of 2021-2022. Beyond her membership to the OIFC, Emily has been a champion supporter of intellectual freedom within her role as Technical Services Manager at Deschutes Public Library. Additionally, Emily currently serves on the Technical Services Round Table, serving as chair in 2018-2019 and again 2020-2021, she was a previous member of the EDI Anti-Racism Committee, serving as a guest writer to the EDI Anti-Racism toolkit.
Emily relocated to Bend in April of 2016 from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where she was formerly the Technical Services and Collection Management Librarian for Bud Werner Memorial Library. Prior to Colorado, Emily was the Library Operations Manager of Collections for the University of New Mexico. When not managing a Technical Services department, Emily enjoys teaching dance or spending time outdoors hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing and paddle boarding with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite “banned book” is Harry Potter.
April Witteveen: April has worked in Oregon libraries since 2005. She loves making community connections and challenging any and all stereotypes about modern librarianship. Outside of work April spends time with her young family, splashing around in the Cascades lakes and finding new neighborhood playgrounds. April’s favorite banned book is Ashley Hope Pérez’s Out of Darkness. April served on the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award Committee that gave this incredible and unforgettable young adult novel an Honor medal.
Pia Alliende, Redmond School District Librarian: Pia served as a co-chair of the Oregon Library Association EDIA-Antiracist Committee during the fiscal year of 2021-2022 and as a member of the Redmond School District Equity Committee since September 2020. Pia raised around $2,200 for RSD school libraries through a bikepacking trip she did with her daughter in October 2021. She was one of the three 2022 SLJ School Librarian of the Year finalists. She has published three non-fiction books in Spanish. When not at school, Pia enjoys biking, volunteering for local organizations that focus on enhancing the lives of BIPOC families or spending time indoor and outdoors alone or with her husband, two adult children and three winner/chihuahua dogs. Her favorite “banned book” is 1984 by George Orwell.
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