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Authors Sarah Ockler, Chris Crutcher Lead Banned Books Week Events

Three authors of banned books will be featured during the Springfield-Greene County Library District’s observance of national Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-Oct. 1.

Special events include an evening with author Sarah Ockler, of “Twenty Boy Summer,” and live visits via Skype with bestselling author Chris Crutcher and Dr. William “Rodney” Allen, author “Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut” and a Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library board member.

All events are free and open to the public.

Banned Books Week is a national observance by libraries and other organizations to celebrate the freedom to access information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship.

Programming, author fees and expenses for Banned Books Week are funded by a grant from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.

Ockler, whose “Twenty Boy Summer” was banned by the Republic School Board in July 2011, will be the featured speaker at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in the Library Center auditorium, 4653 S. Campbell Ave. Her book will be available for purchase.

She will discuss how book challenges affect writers and their readers, and make her case for the freedom to read.

Ms. Ockler will also be a featured reader during two segments of the library’s Read-Out on Saturday, Oct. 1, at noon in the Library Station, 2535 S. Kansas Expressway, and at 4 p.m. in the Library Center. She will also serve on a panel immediately after the Read-Out to discuss issues of censorship and the First Amendment.

Crutcher’s “Whale Talk” and “Ironman” are just a few of his books that have been banned and challenged over the years. He will visit live via Skype at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Brentwood Branch Library, 2214 Brentwood Blvd. 

Dr. William “Rodney” Allen is the author of “Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut” and a Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library board member. Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” was banned with Ockler’s book in July by the Republic School Board. Allen will visit the library audience via Skype at 8 p.m. at the Brentwood Branch after Crutcher’s discussion. 

Here is a complete schedule of Banned Books Week events sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

Supposedly Scandalous Film Festival at Park Central Branch Library

 Saturday, Oct. 1 -- Roald Dahl-athon

For more information, call Community Relations at (417) 616-0564, or Banned Books Week chair Gay Wilson at (417) 616-0560.  

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

* Library card required for use outside the Library

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