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Banned Books Week

With an unprecedented increase in attacks on free speech in our schools and libraries, our mission against censorship is more important now than ever.

Join us for our annual week-long celebration of banned books and raise awareness on the right to free speech and free expression.

During our week of programming, we’ll be joined by our Activist in Residence, Chad Heck. 

In Case You missed It

September 1st

Register for banned books week

Follow this link to sign up for our Banned Books Week of events! 

Our Year of Education events focus on censorship within education, and range from author panels to LGBTQ+ poetry and prose Open Mics and community Banned Book Discussions. 


The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library began participating in Banned Books Week in 2011 when Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five and a book called Twenty Boy Summer were banned from a rural Missouri school. KVML shipped 75 copies of Vonnegut’s book to students at that school who requested them. KVML has been celebrating the freedom to read ever since. 


We celebrate Banned Books Week with seven days of programming and events. Along with our annual programming, we invite an artist, educator, or other passionate visitor to become our Activist in Residence. The Activist in Residence lives in the museum for the entire week behind a wall of banned books. This act protests the infringement of the right to free expression. 

First Amendment Advocacy

The First Amendment protects our rights to free speech and expression. Kurt Vonnegut was a huge advocate for preserving these rights. His work was banned and censored on numerous occasions. In 1973, he wrote to the headmaster of Drake High School who demanded all copies of Slaughterhouse-Five to be burned in the school’s furnace for “obscene” content. Vonnegut’s words still resonate today as books are still challenged and banned. KVML is committed to the freedom to read, to express thoughts, and exchange ideas – even if some are considered unorthodox or unpopular.

Kathi Badertscher, PhD

Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Kathi Badertscher, PhD, is Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Dr. Badertscher teaches a variety of BA, MA, and doctoral courses, including Applying Ethics in Philanthropy and History of Philanthropy. She has participated in several Teaching Vonnegut workshops and is a member of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Dr. Badertscher has been a guest speaker on ethics in philanthropy, including at the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners – Indianapolis Council; Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter; and Zhou Enlai School of Government, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. In 2019 she received IUPUI Office for Women, Women’s Leadership Award for Newcomer Faculty. In 2019 and 2020 she received the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Graduate Teaching Award.
Dr. Badertscher’s publications include “Fundraising for Advocacy and Social Change,” co-authored with Shariq Siddiqui in Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 5th ed., 2022; “Insulin at 100: Indianapolis, Toronto, Woods Hole, and the ‘Insulin Road,’ co-authored with Christopher Rutty, Pharmacy in History (2020); and three articles in the Indiana Magazine of History: “A New Wishard Is on the Way,” “Evaline Holliday and the Work of Community Service,” and “Social Networks in Indianapolis during the Progressive Era.” Her chapters on social welfare history will appear in three upcoming edited volumes on the history of philanthropy, including “The Legacy of Edna Henry and Her Contributions to the IU School of Social Work,” Women at Indiana University: Views of the Past and the Future, edited by Andrea Walton, Indiana University Press, 2022 (forthcoming). Dr. Badertscher is also the Philanthropy and Nonprofits Consulting Editor for the forthcoming Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, edited by David J. Bodenhamer and Elizabeth Van Allen, Indiana University Press, 2021. Dr. Badertscher is an active volunteer in the Indianapolis community. At present, she is a Coburn Place Safe Haven Board Member and a Children’s Bureau/Families First Brand and Marketing Advisor. Dr. Badertscher holds the MA in History from Indiana University and the MA and PhD in philanthropic studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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