Library Banned Books Festival


The Hillsboro Library will host a special Banned Books Festival next week starting on Monday, Sept. 27 and ending on Friday, Oct. 1.

“We are so excited to celebrate banned books with the community,” circulation manager Sarah Davidson said. “Many people don’t realize how many books have been banned and challenged. While some obvious ones, such as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘A Catcher in the Rye’, often come to mind, many patrons may be surprised to find out that some of their favorite stories have been censored.”

“One of the most interesting reasons a book has been banned is ‘Junie B. Jones,’” Davidson added about the book series. “It was banned because it allegedly taught children bad grammar.”

All next week the library will be hosting special events.

“This year’s Banned Books Week theme is ‘Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us,’” Davidson said. “That’s what the library’s programs are all about: Taking some time to unite over our favorite stories — even if some of those stories are difficult.”

Each day will have a special activity. Whenever a patron participates, they will be given a ticket for a drawing.

“We have five banned book-themed gift baskets, each valued at over $100,” Davidson said. “The more activities you attend throughout the festival, the better chance you’ll have of winning a basket. We are so grateful to The Freedom to Read Foundation. The grant offered through their Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund has allowed us to turn all of our ideas for this festival into a reality.”

Davidson described each of the five gift baskets.

“The first is Harry Potter-themed. We have some Legos and lots and lots of HP merchandise, including some Wizarding candy,” she said. “Another is themed after ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. It is very southern with sweet tea, corn bread and pecan pie muffin mixes, and lots of country-style décor. We also have one that is based on ‘The Great Gatsby’. It includes indulgences such as chocolates and caramel corn, and also different callbacks to the ‘20s. My favorite item is a pinstripe fedora hat.”

She also described a basket that is ‘Lord of the Flies’ themed. “The characters in that book may have fared better if they’d had this basket,” Davidson said. “It is full of camping, hiking and survival gear.”

The final basket, Davidson said, is focused on man’s best friend. “’The Call of the Wild’ basket is all about dogs,” she said. “It has toys, treats and just about anything a canine companion would want.”

The Banned Books Festival will include the following activities:

· Monday, Sept. 27, 5-8 p.m. — Dear Banned Author. Patrons will be invited to write a letter to their favorite banned authors. The library will have a list of authors and their addresses from which to choose. The library will send out the letters. Any responses will be posted to its Facebook page.

· Tuesday, Sept. 28, 5-8 p.m. — Banned Books Scavenger Hunt. Patrons can search for banned books throughout the library. When they find them and open them up, they’ll find out why the book was banned.

· Wednesday, Sept. 29, 5-8 p.m. — Picture This! Patrons can take pictures with their favorite banned books with the library’s wanted poster photo op, take “shelfies,” and match the banned book to the reason they were banned in a special police line-up.

· Thursday, Sept. 30, 5:30 p.m. — Banned Books Trivia. Teams or individuals can test their banned books knowledge. Winners will receive a small prize.

· Friday, Oct. 1, 3-4:30 p.m. — Dinner and Discussion. Patrons are invited to enjoy a meal and chat with fellow book-lovers about their favorite banned books.

Davidson added that preregistration is required for the Banned Books Dinner and Discussion.

“It will be catered by Ponderosa and we’ll also have desserts from White’s Bakery,” she said. “The menu will include fried chicken, BBQ pulled pork, mac ‘n’ cheese, and cole slaw, plus brownies and special banned books week cookies.”

The winners of the gift baskets will also be drawn during the dinner. Recipients must be present to receive their basket.

“We can’t wait to share this fun event with the community,” Davidson said. “We’ll celebrate our freedom to read while also having a lot of fun.”

For more information on these events, visit, search “Highland County District Library of Ohio” on Facebook, or call 937-393-3114.

Special prizes, activities and catered meal part of roster

The Times-Gazette

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