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Join the Discussion During "Banned Books Week" Sept. 24-Oct. 1

The Ozarks has gained national attention recently over the challenges and/or removal of several books from Stockton and Republic high schools.

Whether you call it “restricting” books, “banning” books or “censorship,” the result is that access to those materials is denied where it once was permitted – something that librarians and many others challenge wherever it occurs.

Libraries exist to provide ideas and information for all who wish to read and access them, even if those ideas are considered controversial or unpopular. Libraries are also the perfect venue for a civil discussion about censorship and restricted access, so the Springfield-Greene County Library District has panels, lectures and films planned during national Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-Oct. 1.

Highlights include visits with author Sarah Ockler, whose “Twenty Boy Summer” was removed by the Republic School Board; and live visits via Skype with best-selling author Chris Crutcher and Dr. William “Rodney” Allen, author of “Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut” and a Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library board member. Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” was also removed by the Republic board.

All events are free and open to the public. Programming and expenses for Banned Books Week are funded by a grant from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.

Ockler will speak at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in the Library Center. Crutcher and Allen will visit via Skype at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, on Sept. 29 at the Brentwood Branch.

Other events: 

  • Supposedly Scandalous Film Festival, Park Central Branch Library, 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, Sept. 26-30; and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Watch classic movies based on banned books.
  • “Book Challenges, Schools and School Libraries,” a panel discussion with school officials, board members and educators about their roles, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, Library Station.
  • Banned Books Read-Out, Saturday, Oct. 1. Guests will read from the decade’s top 30 books that have been banned/challenged at some time.

    * 10-10:30 a.m., Republic Branch Library
    * Noon-12:30 p.m., Library Station, (including author Sarah Ockler)
    * 2-2:30 p.m., Brentwood Branch Library
    * 4-6 p.m., Library Center. Read-Out and panel discussion with Sarah Ockler, librarians and civic leaders.

We hope to engage everyone in a thought-provoking, civil discussion of the issues. For details, see the event link on, or go to


* Library card required for use outside the Library

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