The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Authors Sarah Ockler, Chris Crutcher Lead Banned Books Week Events

September 7, 2011 — 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, Park Central Branch Library, 128 Park Central Square, 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, Sept. 26-30; and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.  Watch banned classics for all ages. (See schedule below.)
  • “Book Challenges, Schools and School Libraries,” a panel discussion with area school officials and board members, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, Library Station Frisco Room.
  • Skype with banned author Chris Crutcher at 7 p.m., followed by a Skype visit with Dr. William "Rodney" Allen, author and Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library board member, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Brentwood Branch Library, 2214 Brentwood Blvd.
  • An Evening with Sarah Ockler, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, Library Center auditorium.  
  • Banned Books Read Out, Saturday, Oct. 1. Invited community leaders will read from the decade’s top 30 banned/challenged books at four libraries.
    *10-10:30 a.m., Republic Branch Library, 921 N. Lindsey Ave.
    *Noon-12:30 p.m., Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway (with author Sarah Ockler)
    *2-2:30 p.m., Brentwood Branch Library, 2214 Brentwood Blvd.
    *4-6 p.m., Library Center. Read Out and panel discussion immediately following with author Sarah Ockler and other community leaders, librarians and educators.

Supposedly Scandalous Film Festival at Park Central Branch Library

  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 -- Harry Potter Day
    Kick off Banned Books Week by celebrating one of the most beloved -- and most banned -- series of books in the last 10 years. Park Central Branch Library will play host to Harry Potter Day, complete with trivia games, a costume contest, Harry Potter-themed snacks and back-to-back showings of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One." Come dressed as your favorite character for a whole afternoon of Harry Potter fun. 
  • 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 --  "Where the Wild Things Are," 109 mins., rated PG-13
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 -- "Alice in Wonderland," 108 mins., rated PG-13
  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 -- "To Kill a Mockingbird," 129 mins., not rated
  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 -- "The Color Purple," 154 mins., rated PG-13
  • 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 -- "My Sister's Keeper," 122 mins., rated PG-13

 Saturday, Oct. 1 -- Roald Dahl-athon

  • 2 p.m.: "James and the Giant Peach," 79 mins., rated PG
  • 3:30 p.m.: "Matilda,"102 mins, rated PG
  • 5:30 p.m.: "The Witches," 91 mins., rated PG
  • 7 p.m.: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," 115 mins., rated PG

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


Kathleen O'Dell
Community Relations Director
(417) 616-0564
Sarah Jane Rosendahl
(417) 616-0566

* Library card required for use outside the Library

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