Banned Book Events

2024 Activities & Events 

Learn at the Library - Generative A.I. 

When: Feb. 22, March 7, and March 27, 2024

Where: Library Teaching Lab

Did you know that artificial intelligence (AI) has been used to support book banning in U.S. schools? According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “Broad book bans are a threat to free speech. Using generative AI tools to comply with those bans only makes them more dangerous.” 

This spring, the STCC library is offering a workshop series on generative AI to help STCC students, faculty, and staff learn about AI language tools: what they’re good for (or not), and how to use them safely. Practicing, proofreading, or brainstorming? Check. Book banning? Not so much!

Learn more and register here

September 22-28, 2024 | Banned Books Week 

Stay tuned for events to be planned for the fall semester!

STCC is committed to accessibility and inclusion, ensuring that all are able to access college programs, activities, and events. Prospective students or current students, who need accommodations, should contact the Office of Disability Services at (413) 755-4785 or via email at at least two weeks in advance. Members of the general public or employees who need accommodations should contact Affirmative Action Officer, Kathryn C. Senie, Director of Compliance, Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator, and ADA Coordinator at (413) 755-4749 or at least two weeks in advance.

Past Events

November 16th, 2023 | Censorship in Libraries Panel

When: 2:00 - 3:00pm EST

Where: Virtual

The U.S. has seen unprecedented numbers of book bans in recent years. The overwhelming majority of censored materials are written by or about LGBTQIA+ individuals, and people of color. In addition to material challenges, libraries have seen increasing pushback for their programs, as well as their very existence. Some librarians have been fired or have quit due to pressure from their communities. What does the future hold for libraries and librarians? 

Watch a recording of the discussion: 

From left: Chelsea Contrada, Vonetta Lightfoot, Kat Good-Schiff. 

October 17th, 2023 | New England Library Association Conference

When: 9am - 10am

Where: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA

Two STCC librarians and STCC’s former manager of Multicultural Affairs presented about the banned books project at the New England Library Association Conference. Attendance was good and we got great feedback from participants, some of whom are looking into starting similar projects at their libraries!

April 13th, 2023 | Creative Writing Workshop

When: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Where: In-person Library Lab (Building 19, 2nd floor)

April 10th, 2023 | Movies That Matter: "Shang Chi"

When: 12:15pm

Where: Building 19 Forum (ground floor)

March 20th, 2023 | Movies That Matter: "Till"

When: 12:15pm

Where: Building 19 Forum (ground floor)

March 6th, 2023 | Gift Card Giveaway!

When: Pay attention to the Banned Book of the Week starting March 6th. Enter to win by March 31 (see instructions below).

Where: Virtual


ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS: Keep track of the “Banned Book of the Week” posts on the homepage of our banned books website for four weeks, starting the week of March 6th. Every Monday we post a new Banned Book of the Week. Then, fill out this form PLEASE NOTE: You will need to be logged into your STCC email to access the form. Only STCC students are eligible. You must fill out the form by March 31st to win. If you can correctly name all four books which are featured on the website between the weeks of March 6th and March 27th, you will be entered for the chance to win! Only one student will win. The winner will be contacted via their STCC email. 

February 13th, 2023 | Movies That Matter: "Black Panther"

When: 12:15pm

Where: Building 19 Forum (ground floor)

February 6th, 2023 | Movies That Matter: "The Woman King"

When: 12:15pm

Where: Building 19 Forum (ground floor)

December 5th, 2022 | Movies That Matter: Soul

Where: Building 19/Forum

More information: 

Event poster for Movies That Matter: Soul

November 30th, 2022 | Diversity Series Speaker: Nic Stone 

When: This event already happened

Where: Virtual Event 

When we hear someone tell their story, we connect to them in a deep and more meaningful way. Beloved bestselling author NIC STONE says that stories link us together; when we listen to the lives and experiences of people who are different from us, we’ll discover our common ground. Nic’s #1 New York Times bestselling books, including the hit Dear Martin (the story of a modern teenager who writes letters to Martin Luther King Jr.) are real, emotional, and profound. She empowers us to see that our stories matter, and that we can use them to build bridges and leave a positive, vibrant legacy. 

November 9th, 2022 | Diversity Series Speaker: Dr. Lee Francis IV 

Where: Building 2 Room 703-704

Diversity Speaker & Performance Series presents Dr. Lee Francis IV for an in-person event. "Lee Francis IV, a member of Laguna Pueblo who earned a PhD from Texas State University, opened Red Planet after the first year of hosting Indigenous Comicon, in Albuquerque. “I wanted to create a space where we could continue the party all year round, and beyond an annual event.” The shop’s first titles were used books by Native authors that came from Francis’ own collection. Now he sells children’s books (quickly bought out whenever the Librarians of Color are in town for a conference) and, of course, comics. There’s even a $1 comic bookshelf for middle schoolers who stop in weekly. But for those who are visiting from other states, countries, or even continents, Red Planet is a rarity. “We are the only Native comic-book shop in the world, and only one of three Native bookstores in the U.S.,” Francis says. He uses the space as a kind of “tasting room,” for people looking to find good reads, and “as the home of Native Realities Press,” which he began in 2015." (Bio copied from Red Planet Books & Comics Website

November 7th, 2022 | Movies That Matter: The Hate U Give

Where: Building 19/Forum

This movie is based on the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which is a banned book on the Periodic Table of Banned Books.

Event poster for Movies That Matter: The Hate U Give

November 2nd, 2022 | Banned Books Bingo

In person: Library Computer Lab, 12:15 - 1:15pm

Play Banned Books Bingo for the chance to win an STCC Swag Bag!

October 4th - November 10th, 2022 | "Murcan Tales" Exhibition by Kumasi J. Barnett 

Where: Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery, Building 28 

Influenced by the aesthetics and narratives of comic books, Baltimore artist Kumasi J. Barnett’s artwork subverts and imbues the often-timeless genre with historical context and a present-day social consciousness. Beloved superheroes like “The Hulk” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” are transformed into “The Media’s Thug” and “The Amazing Black-Man.” Barnett meticulously paints directly over old copies of comic books, changing their narratives into reflections on contemporary events and the media’s portrayal of those events, and searing, sometimes painful, critiques of real social and political issues, including racism, fake news, and political corruption. Barnett will be on campus Oct 13-14 for in-person events, including meet and greet reception, student engagement activities, and Carberry Conversations interview.  See more info on the Carberry Gallery website.

October 20th, 2022 | Salons at Stowe

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is putting on a live podcast about censorship, free speech & intellectual freedom on October 20th at 7 p.m. featuring State Poet Laureate Antoinette Brim-Bell, Vonetta Lightfoot of Springfield Technical Community College & Christine Emeran of the National Coalition Against Censorship. 

October 14th, 2022 | Carberry Conversations with Kumasi J. Barnett

Join us for a virtual conversation held in the gallery between associate professor and gallery coordinator Sondra Peron and exhibiting artist Kumasi J. Barnett. All Carberry Conversations are free and open to the public via Zoom. 

October 13th, 2022 | Art Reception with Kumasi J. Barnett

Where: Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery, Building 28 

The Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery celebrates Baltimore artist Kumasi J. Barnett with a reception on Thursday, October 13. “Murcan Tales,” by Kumasi J. Barnett is on view in the Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery from October 4 through November 10, 2022. This event is free and open to the public and includes a meet and greet reception and student engagement activities.

September 29th, 2022 | Diversity Series Speaker: Keith "Keef" Knight

Where: Scibelli Hall Theater (B2) 

Diversity Speaker & Performance Series Presents Keith "Keef' Knight for an in-person event. He is a cartoonist, social activist, educator and inspiration for the Hulu streaming series "Woke." 

From left: Emily Butler, Rebecca Schmidt, Belymer Cruz, Erica Eynouf, Vonetta Lightfoot, Dan Paquette and Marko Packard. 

Photo credit: Jim Danko.

September 21st, 2022 | Opening Reception for the Periodic Table of Banned Books

Where: Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons (Building 19)

The STCC Office of Multicultural Affairs and the STCC Library sponsored an event to unveil the Periodic Table of Banned Books. This event was held during the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual Banned Books Week which ran from September 18th-24th. 

“We encourage the STCC community and the Western Mass community at large to come to the exhibit, which is installed permanently,” said Vonetta Lightfoot, operations manager for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “The reason we came up with the Periodic Table is that STCC is a technical school. We thought this was a great way to highlight the books that are being challenged and being banned, and do it in a unique way that would get folks’ attention.”

Read the news article "STCC Library unveils 'Banned Books' Exhibit" 

Spring 2023

This Spring we read All Boys Aren't Blue and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. Both have been banned from various libraries and/or schools. You can read more about the context of these books' censorship on the webpage for All Boys Aren't Blue and the webpage for Stamped. 

Fall 2022

The Fall 2022 Community Read was Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Dear Martin is one of dozens of books featured on the Periodic Table of Banned Books at Springfield Technical Community College. 

STCC students/faculty/staff and members of the general public were invited to read Dear Martin. The Community Read ran from October 31st - November 30th, and concluded with #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Nic Stone speaking to readers about her book and upcoming writing projects in a live Zoom event. This special author event was part of STCC's Office of Multicultural Affairs Diversity Series.