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eBook Expo

Virtual displays featuring eBooks from UNO Libraries.

Image Credit: Tim Mossholder / Pexels

Constitution Day

by Maison Horton

Constitution Day is a federally observed holiday recognized annually on September 17th. Though the constitution was signed way back in 1787, the document still affects the creation of, establishment of, and debate over laws and policies at many levels of government today.

The day reminds us of issues that remain unclear or unjust in the Constitution, and much of these issues stem from two main thoughts about interpreting the constitution: should the constitution be taken at face value, or should it be seen as a living document and subject to change? Amendments passed throughout the country's history have acknowledged changing attitudes and values in American culture, but contemporary debates bring to light the complexities associated with what the U.S. constitution says and means.

Image Credit: Todd Trapani / Pexels

Constitution Day also highlights themes of civic engagement and getting involved in your community, an integral part of service-learning and community engagement programs. Think of voting sites and election commissions, or booths and city council meetings. Service-learning is an important compliment to the democratic process in the United States. In this display, check out reads about the Constitution and the ways we carry out democracy in our communities.

Interested in learning more about service-learning in general and at UNO? Visit our Service Learning and Community Engagement collection and see these helpful links below:

Negotiating the Constitution : The Earliest Debates Over Original Intent

In this display:

  • Arnold, A. B. (2018). A Pocket Guide to the US Constitution : What Every American Needs to Know, Second Edition: Vol. Second edition. Georgetown University Press.
  • Balasubramaniam, R. (2017). I, the citizen : Unraveling the power of citizen engagement. Cornell University Press.
  • Breslin, B. (2021). A constitution for the living : Imagining how five generations of americans would rewrite the nation's fundamental law. Stanford University Press.
  • Cose, E. (2020). Democracy, if we can keep it : The aclu’s 100-year fight for rights in america. The New Press.
  • Finch, F. C. (2020). Article iii : Building the court system. Gareth Stevens Publishing LLLP.
  • Germain, M. (2019). Integrating service-learning and consulting in distance education. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Joseph M. Lynch. (2005). Negotiating the Constitution : The Earliest Debates Over Original Intent. Cornell University Press.
  • Keppeler, J. (2020). The constitutional convention : Creating the constitution. Gareth Stevens Publishing LLLP.
  • Lawton, C. M. (2020). Checks and balances. Cavendish Square Publishing LLC.
  • Manaster, K. (2013). The american legal system and civic engagement : Why we all should think like lawyers. Palgrave Macmillan US.
  • Redish, M. H. (2017). Judicial independence and the american constitution : A democratic paradox. Stanford University Press.
  • Rosenbaum, T. (2020). Saving free speech...from itself. Rosenbaum Thane.
  • Saltmarsh, J., & Zlotkowski, E. (Eds.). (2011). Higher education and democracy : Essays on service-learning and civic engagement. Temple University Press.
  • Sargent, E. (2020). We the people : The united states constitution explored and explained. Quarto Publishing Group UK.
  • Schlozman, K. L., Brady, H. E., & Verba, S. (2018). Unequal and unrepresented : Political inequality and the people's voice in the new gilded age. Princeton University Press.
  • Sutton, J. S. (2018). 51 imperfect solutions : States and the making of american constitutional law. Oxford University Press, Incorporated.
  • Watson, B. C. S. (2020). Living constitution, dying faith : Progressivism and the new science of jurisprudence. Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
  • Zimmerman, J., & Wilkinson, S. (2021). Free speech : And why you should give a damn. City of Light Publishing.