September 18th-September 22nd
What is Constitution Day?
We celebrate Constitution Day annually to mark the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Educational institutions that receive federal funds in the U.S. are required to recognize the creation of our U.S. Constitution on September 17th or that week. This recognition can be through any number of events including written responses, panels, film screenings, poetry readings, musical performances, dramatic interpretations, project assignments, debates, critiques etc.
The theme for 2023-2024 is Banned Books and Free Speech. We ask how books get banned and what recurrent themes we can identify in the various attempts to limit books available to the public.
To celebrate this First Amendment freedom, we will study how and why the US is seeing an increase in attempts in different states to ban books. Last year saw the greatest number of books banned in the U.S. Here are details from PBS's Joshua Barajas:
"Overall, more than 2,500 unique titles were targeted in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans and restrictions since the association's Office for Intellectual Freedom began keeping track of this data more than 20 years ago." (from "Book Bans Soared in 2022," PBS 4/24/2023).
What books are you reading this summer? Where are your favorite libraries and hardcopy or digital book sources? Have the books you read ever been banned? Why or why not? Throughout the year we will ask many questions about the scope and meaning of these actions and study what stories and information these banned books have to offer. Please think about ways to participate in this year's events. We will be working with our WSU Librarians to get their expert perspective on these events. We celebrate the work of our Librarians and their efforts to educate us all and provide access to everyone wanting resources!