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

Events > Courageous Conversations: Book Challenges

Event Information


Saturday, March 11, 2023
10:30 am to 11:30 am
iCal / Google Calendar


Berlin-Peck Memorial Library
234 Kensington Road
Berlin, CT

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    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.


    Be Prepared

    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).


    Dive Deeper

    Optional Reading/Listening

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.


    More Conversations

    Check out the Courageous Conversations page for a complete list of upcoming and past conversation topics!

    All Conversations


    Photo and Video Disclaimer

    The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, as a public place, reserves the right to photograph and record groups and individuals using library services and attending library programs, and to publish those photographs and videos publicly in its newsletter and on social media outlets. Please contact 860-828-7125 with questions.

    Accommodations Statement

    If you require special accommodation for any library sponsored event, please call 860-828-7125 or email at least ten (10) days prior to the event.