Library News

Archives & Special Collections Constance Fowler

(Excerpts from the historical notes of Constance Fowler’s Collection in the Archives & Special Collections.)

constance-fowler-waller-hall-artThe Constance Fowler Collection consists of her biographical records, correspondence, exhibition catalogues and fliers, reviews, publications, manuscripts, selections from her library, as well as examples of her prints, printing blocks, paintings, and drawings.

Fowler taught art lessons in Salem for one dollar a session and, in 1935, volunteered as advisor to an art club at Willamette University. That same year, the University’s president, Bruce Baxter, hired Fowler to teach art and to establish the school’s first art department (art lessons had been taught at Willamette since the nineteenth century, by Marie Craig Le Gall and others, but there had been no department). Fowler taught at Willamette for twelve years, until 1947.

For three summers (1936, 1937, 1938), Fowler was the recipient of the prestigious (and in the Depression years highly desirable) Carnegie grants to help art teachers complete their Master’s of Fine Art degrees. Carnegie programs were offered on two campuses in the country-Harvard University and University of Oregon. Fowler studied at Oregon with the architectural philosopher W. R. B. Willcox (whom she held in highest regard throughout her life), the painter Andrew Vincent, and others. She earned her M.F.A. degree in 1940, her Master’s thesis project being the execution of twenty wood engravings of historic sites in the Willamette Valley, which she published (with text) as The Old Days. In and Near Salem. Oregon (Frank McCaffrey’s Dogwood Press, Seattle, 1940). The book was immediately popular, respected for the quality of the prints, the design. layout, and typography of the book itself, and the historic commentary, based on original research, written by Fowler to accompany her engravings. The Old Days remained Fowler’s single most significant accomplishment; in 1969, in retirement, she arranged for the publication of seventy-five additional books, with engravings printed from the original cherry wood blocks.

 

 

Banned Book Week 2013

banned-bksBanned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

2012

Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, these were the top 10 books challenged from 2013.
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

 

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week visit the ALA Banned Books web site:

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

Source: ALA Banned Books web site

An Evening with Poet Arisa White

Please join us as we open the Fall 2013 Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette University, with author Arisa White on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room.
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White is the author of two collections of poetry, A Penny Saved and Hurrah’s Nest, a finalist for the California Book Award and the Wheatley Poetry Prize. Her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival, and she was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List.