Duo explores censorship

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April is a special month in the literary and library worlds, honoring both poetry (National Poetry Month)  and libraries (National Library Week was April 8-14). In recognition of the role libraries play in providing free and open access to information, the Mesa Public Library Authors Speak Series presents a book on challenges to what is included in library collections at 7 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda.
“True Stories of Censorship Battles in America’s Libraries” is a compilation of essays edited by librarians Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco, who have experienced challenges to remove material held in their own libraries’collections.
For seven years Nye and Barco have given presentations on banned books and library censorship to librarians and social organizations around the United States.
Four years ago, while attending a conference in Mississippi where Judy Blume was the keynote speaker, the two were inspired to begin work on the book. 
The authors will speak about their experience of co-editing, compiling essays from a diverse group of writers and publishing the book.
They will also share some of the stories from their book; intriguing tales of murder, theft and legal battles.  Learn how librarians and library supporters continue to fight for the intellectual freedom of all Americans.   
Nye is a native of New Mexico and has been the library director at Fogelson Library at Santa Fe University of Art and  Design for two years.
Her first book was coauthored with her mentor, R. Neil Scott and is titled, “Milledgeville: A Guide to Flannery O’Connor’s Correspondence in Libraries and Archives.”
Barco grew up in Los Alamos. She left the Land of Enchantment for college and life as a military wife, mom and freelance writer in various locations, including Guam.
A craving for green chile and  the mountains drew her home to New Mexico. Currently a children’s librarian with the       Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System, she was Youth Services Coordinator at the New Mexico State Library from 2001-2006.
She and Nye have co-authored two guidebooks, “Breakfast Santa Fe Style” and “Breakfast New Mexico Style,” in addition to collaborating on “True Stories of Censorship Battles in America’s Libraries.”
The Authors Speak Series is a monthly event  featuring New Mexican authors speaking about their writing on a variety of subjects such as local and state history, travel, outdoor activities, New Mexico fiction, Native American history and culture, poetry and more.