Shenango faculty lecture series leads off with Head Librarian Matthew Ciszek

Ciszek to speak on 'Intellectual Freedom: What is it and Why is it Important?'

SHARON, Pa. -- Penn State Shenango will begin its 2016-17 Faculty Lecture Series with Matthew Ciszek, head librarian of the Penn State Shenango Lartz Memorial Library, who will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, in Sharon Hall room 105, located on Penn Avenue in downtown Sharon, Pennsylvania. The title of his lecture is “Intellectual Freedom:  What is it and Why is it Important?” The event is free and open to the public.

This lecture is part of the Lartz Memorial Library's celebration of Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, a nation-wide event highlighting the freedom to read and our civil right to intellectual freedom. In addition to the lecture, a display of banned or challenged books is located in the Lartz Library at 177 Vine Ave. in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and literature and information about intellectual freedom is available from the Library throughout the week.

Banned Books Week is an annual event created by the American Library Association and brings together the entire book community; librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types, in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. More information on Banned Books Week can be found at

Ciszek has been the head librarian at the Shenango campus since 2007. He has a master of library science from the University at Buffalo. His research interests include diversity and inclusion in higher education and academic libraries, LGBT studies, and higher education administration and management of academic libraries. In 2013, he received the University Libraries Diversity Award and is active in the American Library Association and various LGBT organizations.

Ciszek has recently authored a chapter in the 2014 book "Rethinking Reference for Academic Libraries: Innovative Developments and Future Trends" on serving the LGBT community in academic libraries. He has also published articles and book chapters on creating web-based resources for the LGBT community in academic libraries, collection assessment for diversity, and his experiences as an openly gay library administrator.

For more information, contact the Penn State Shenango Academic Affairs Office at 724-983-2825.