The David O. McKay Library will showcase a Special Collections event for Banned Books Week 2023. The exhibit will feature children’s literature, helmed by undergraduate curator Braden Chancellor. Named Controversial Conversations, the exhibit promises a deep dive into the often debated realm of children’s literature.

The Special Collections exhibit will run from Oct. 2- Oct. 6 in McKay 220 on the second floor of the McKay Library, the exhibition will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to the Special Collections website, “Special Collections & Archives houses items unique to University history and campus curriculum, the history of the Upper Snake River Plain, and changes in writing. Collections range from prehistoric artifacts and manuscripts that demonstrate early writing systems, to pictures, journals, letters, and emails documenting the history of Campus and the Rexburg region.”

The Special Collections exhibit willrunfrom Oct. 2- Oct. 6 in McKay 220.

The Special Collections exhibit will run from Oct. 2- Oct. 6 in McKay 220 Photo credit: Chester Chan

Chancellor’s exhibit highlights American picture books that have historically faced bans. He hopes to spark a conversation on the role of controversial topics within children’s reading material.

One of the exhibit’s highlights will be held on Oct. 5, during forum hour. Rhonda Seamons, an English professor at BYU-Idaho, will lead a lecture on the pivotal choices educators make regarding classroom materials.

The tension at the 2023 Rexburg Pride festival prompted Chancellor to create Controversial Conversations — after witnessing the hostility, he envisioned a safe space where sensitive topics could be discussed. This exhibit, he hopes,will be a sanctuary where meaningful conversation trumps discord.

One of the exhibit's highlights will be held on Oct. 5, during forum hour.

One of the exhibit's highlights will be held on Oct. 5, during forum hour. Photo credit: Chester Chan

Chancellor previously served as an archivist for the McKay Library. With this exhibition, he hopes to bridge the past and the present, highlighting the significance of controversial conversations in shaping thefuture of education.

For more details on the exhibit and related events, visit the Special Collections website.