Students from Professor Shirley Nuhn’s English as a Second Language (ESL) 52 class recently visited the Annandale Campus Library to record podcasts for Banned Books Week, a national celebration of the freedom to read. Shibo Chandler Ma and Giancarlo Paredes used the Library’s Digital Media Studio to record their commentaries, being featured on the Annandale Campus Library Blog through October 3.
According to the American Library Association, Banned Books Week brings “national attention to the harms of censorship” by focusing on efforts around the nation to ban or restrict access to books. The annual event is celebrated by the entire book community, including librarians, publishers, teachers and students. This year’s celebration is being observed September 27 to October 3. Plus, September 30, during that week, is International Podcast Day.
Nuhn began collaborating with the Annandale Campus Library to celebrate Banned Books Week through student podcasts in 2009. Nuhn has a background in voice work and scripting and finds great joy working with students in this way. According to Nuhn, “Producing podcasts has been a way to help keep students engaged with college and their studies.”
Since then, students from Nuhn’s classes have promoted Banned Books Week by contributing heartfelt commentaries about the freedom to read. In his podcast, Paredes explains, “Somehow, people believe they know what is right and what is not for others. What they don’t realize is that what makes this country different than others is the freedom of choice, the freedom of expression, and the freedom to read.”
Chandler Ma echoes Paredes’ sentiments in his own commentary. “God gave us the right to read as he gave us our eyes, and now we have a chance to take action, to take back our freedom to read. Don’t let go of your ability to read and learn—fight for your favorite books!”
In addition to the Digital Media Studio, students used the library’s media equipment which includes four state-of-the-art computers with professional audio, video and photo-editing software.
In addition to being featured on the Annandale Campus Library Blog, student podcasts are also available on the Languages and Literature webpage, and NOVA’s iTunes U, within Special ESL Podcasts.