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The Freedom to Read Panel: A Discussion with Sigal Ben-Porath, Kasey Meehan, and Samantha Hull

Please join Barnes & Noble on October 5th at 6pm for the Freedom to Read panel with Sigal Ben-Porath, Kasey Meehan and Samantha Hull.

We’ve heard a lot about book bans in the past couple years, but what exactly does it mean to ban a book? Our panel of experts seek to answer this question, sharing local and nationwide examples of book bans taking place in schools and legal bodies. Their discussion will address how the practice of book banning affects our schools, our libraries, our families, and our society as a whole.



Dr. Sigal Ben-Porath is the author of six books including Cancel Wars and has taught at Penn GSE since 2004. She is interested in democratic theory and practice, and studies the ways institutions like schools and colleges can sustain and advance democracy. Her areas of expertise include philosophy of education and political philosophy.

Kasey Meehan is the Freedom to Read Program Director at PEN America, leading our initiatives to protect the right of students to freely access literature in schools. Previously, Kasey served as the Associate Director of Postsecondary Policy at a mission-driven education research organization in Philadelphia, Research for Action. Kasey’s research centers students, educators, and school leaders’ experiences in identifying strategies for reform and capturing emerging best practices and strives to connect research to policy and program change.

Samantha Hull is Vice President for the Pennsylvania School Librarians. She is a school librarian and district supervisor as well as a professor at Old Dominion University and McDaniel College. In the past few years, the increased rate of book challenges, attempted bans and censorship allowed Samantha to step into a role of advocate and activist. She was featured in panels, articles, and a congressional hearing on the topic of censorship within public schools, school librarians, and public libraries.