Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read Week with a “Prisoner,” a Sneak Peak at Our New Building, and a Week of Programming Sept. 22-27, 2019!


We’re working, planning, and fundraising to get our new building at 543 Indiana Avenue ready for a grand opening in November. In the meantime, we invite you to stop by the new location for a special Sneak Peek during Freedom to Read Week (also known as the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week) beginning Sunday, September 22.

Freedom to Read Week and Banned Books Week are one and the same, but some folks thought we were celebrating the banning of books! Um, ya, no! As most of you know, we have always celebrated the First Amendment and the freedoms it allows and will continue to do so, but now we’re calling the celebration Freedom to Read. Different name, same great cause with unique, related programming.

So join us and the folks from Bluebeard Restaurant for this special week. Here’s what we have on tap each evening beginning at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5).

Meet Our 24/7 Teacher-in-Residence Brett Stoker from Tipton High School, who is also one of the school’s football coaches. He’s our “prisoner” this year, spending the week in the Vonnegut Library to raise awareness of censorship. Be sure to stop by and hang out with him for a while.

Here’s our lineup for the week, all at our 543 Indiana Avenue location:

Sunday, September 22

Special Programming
More details to come soon! Keep checking or look for additional info in our next newsletter on September 5th.

Monday, September 23

6 p.m.
Illegal Books Double Feature
Come dig into the history of censorship and book banning with Jonathan R. Eller, IUPUI chancellor’s professor of English and director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. Stay for some classic Bradbury TV viewing and popcorn.

Tuesday, September 24

6 p.m.
Co-Ed Night at the Museum
Learn how funding cuts threaten the education of future generations and the Freedom to Read, featuring: Lucinda Nord, the executive director of the Indiana Library Federation. PLUS, don’t forget to pick up a free banned book (while supplies last) from Brett Stoker, our Freedom to Read Week 24/7 teacher-in-residence from Tipton High School.

Wednesday, September 25

6 p.m.
How to Run for President — From Jail
Join us for an intimate look at Vonnegut hero and free speech warrior Eugene V. Debs (for whom Hocus Pocus protagonist Eugene Debs Hartke was named) by the keepers of his legacy at the Eugene V. Debs Museum and Foundation.

Thursday, September 26

6 p.m.
Jazz Party on Indiana Avenue
Vonnegut described it as “safe sex of the highest order.” Join the jazz party as well as take a deep dive into the city’s jazz history with Indiana Avenue: Life and Musical Journey From 1915 to 2015 author Aleta Hodge and KVML curator Chris Lafave.

Friday, September 27 

6 p.m.
First Amendment Trivial Pursuit
Test your Freedom of Speech cred at Trivia Night with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. There will be beer … and prizes!