Courageous Conversations: Book Challenges
Saturday, March 11, 2023 — 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Join us for an open, respectful conversation about book challenges.
March 11, 2023
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library
234 Kensington Road
Though instances of book banning have always been a part of our history, there has been a significant increase in book challenges and removals from both school and public library collections in the past year.
Join us for an open, respectful conversation about how we might balance parents’ desires to protect their children, students’ first amendment rights, the general public’s right to information, and a library’s obligation to provide a wide range of experiences and viewpoints.
Prior to the conversation, please read this month’s articles. Printed copies are available at the Library.
Book Banning by Susan L. Webb
An article from The First Amendment Encyclopedia by Middle Tennessee State University.
Book bans are on the rise. What are the most banned books and why?
An article from USA Today. Includes a video element (scroll down to see article and list).
Besides the resources listed below, you may also choose to do further reading from other sources. If you do so, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Choose a reputable source
Check out the credentials of the author or publication and look for a fact-based article or book. Don’t waste time reading opinion pieces from someone who’s trying to rile you up.
- Exit your echo chamber
Look for a thoughtful article or book from someone whose opinion differs from yours. Learn what the other side says and keep guideline #1 in mind when you choose this source.
Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools
A report by PEN America
Beyond Book Banning: Efforts to Criminally Charge Librarians
An article by The Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association
Madison County School Board Bans 21 Books from High School Library
An article for The MadRapp Recorder, a digital newspaper covering Madison and Rappahannock county in Virginia
What are Courageous Conversations?
Courageous Conversations is a small-group discussion series that will provide an opportunity for people of all backgrounds and viewpoints to discuss important local, cultural, social, and political issues in a safe environment where differing opinions, patient listening, and respectful discussion are welcomed as a necessary part of building connection with others and identifying shared values. Participants may be asked to read short articles, books, or listen to podcasts prior to the meetings and will be asked to abide by our shared discussion guidelines.
Library staff will facilitate the conversations and ensure that all participants have the opportunity to share in the discussion.
The event is in person and attendance space is limited; please remember to register.
Check out the Courageous Conversations page for a complete list of upcoming and past conversation topics!