NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Panel focuses on book banning and intellectual freedom

On Wednesday April 12th Northern Essex Community College hosted a panel discussion about book banning and intellectual freedom event that took place in Lecture Hall (A) in the Spurk building on the Haverhill campus.
Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to come listen to a panel of hosts discuss their thoughts and research on banning books.

Guest Martin Garnar, director of libraries at Amherst College led the discussion.

The event was sponsored by the Global Studies department and the NECC Library.

Six faculty members from different disciplines joined in on the panel.

Garnar began by asking the audience to get into groups of 4-5 people and the groups were given a piece of paper that gave real life scenarios and each group had to discuss what the people in the scenario should do.

For example, “a teacher thinks her students are plagiarizing; should she go to the library?”

After each group read and discussed the audience formed a large group discussion about their topic and panel members and other groups were allowed to converse through a shared microphone.

Lisette Espinoza, an English professor at Northern Essex and a part of the panel for the banning books event encouraged the audience to read books because “there are many authors banned … because their ideas are complex or controversial.”

Students were able to be challenged with real life scenarios, work together in a group setting to figure it out and gain advice from the panel on different perspectives.

To find out about more events like these you can visit the NECC events tab.