Philomathean Society officers will meet today with a library administrator to discuss the removal of Philo's eight-foot-tall book of quotations, on display in the library for two weeks. Members of the society claim that it was removed because it contained a statement which some considered racist. Library officials said the book was removed because its two-week exhibition was over. Philo Moderator Jacob Cogan and First Censor Lara Nicolayevsky said last week that they will meet with Libraries Director Paul Mosher to understand why library officials removed the book. "We are questioning such a drastic move," Nicolayevsky said. "We are questioning the censorship of the book." Mosher could not be reached for comment yesterday. Patricia Renfro, the libraries' associate director for public services, said yesterday that library officials only agreed to display the quote book for two weeks. She said officials asked Philo to remove the book when the time period expired late last month. But Cogan said the book was closed and then removed from the library because of complaints about a political quotation which many people felt was racist. The book contains favorite quotations written by students, faculty and staff which Philo members solicited on Locust Walk earlier this semester. Philo members said they designed the book to represent the ideas and attitudes at the University this year. Nicolayevsky said that the library agreed to house the book of quotes "until the interest wore off." She said interest in the book has increased since a letter about the offensive quote was published in the DP. Cogan said that he received a call late last month from Carton Rogers, libraries associate director of technical services, telling him the library would no longer house the book. "He said that after receiving phone calls from individuals who felt the same way as the letter writer that they were no longer going to hold the book," Cogan said. "They said that they didn't want to deal with the issue." Rogers yesterday said that he contacted Cogan about the book, but declined to discuss the conversation. He said officials only agreed to display the book for two weeks. Cogan predicted that officials may allow the book back into the library. Both Philo officers said they are disappointed that library administrators removed the book, saying the removal undercut the intent to illustrate thoughts of people at the University. "I'm personally offended that the library would take such action," Cogan said. "I would think that the University would defend people's rights to speak and that the library in particular would." "It's disturbing for the mere fact that a book was expelled from the library for its contents," Nicolayevsky said. Nicolayevsky also said the book, which is now on the third floor of College Hall, was damaged in the move.Comments powered by Disqus
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