Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read with Banned Books Week “Prisoner” and Week of Programming

banned-buttonJoin us as we transform the Vonnegut Library into a cozy salon where community members can gather to ask big questions about art, citizenship and humanity. This year, Banned Books Week is September 26-September 30, and we are thrilled to welcome National Book Award winner, Young People’s Poet Laureate, and often-banned author Jacqueline Woodson to Indiana in partnership with DePauw University.

DSCN0498A “Secretary of the Future” panel discussion led by NPR’s David Brancaccio and featuring Nanette Vonnegut, Aman Brar, Terrian Barnes, Sam Van Aken, and Jason Kelly. We’re also teaming up with local and national partners like the ACLU, Gen Con, and the IU McKinney School of Law to host conversations and activities that will reach a diverse audience and encourage dialogue.

Artist & author Josh Johnson will spend the week in our storefront museum window, trapped behind a “prison” wall constructed of banned books. During his time in the Vonnegut Library, Josh will write and illustrate a children’s book from start to finish. Thank you to Bluebeard and Clustertruck in Indianapolis for supplying wonderful lunches and dinners for Josh throughout the event.

Banned Books Week Logo 2016
2016 Banned Books Week Schedule

Monday, Sept 26
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Corey Dalton of Mythic Indy and author/illustrator Devon Kondaki. Guests will be reading selections from their books and their favorite banned books
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate
  • Evening Event: Dungeons & Dragons and 80’s Satanic Panic
    • Join us and day sponsors Gen Con for a trip back to the ’80’s as we explore with author and historian Michael Witwer the controversy caused by legendary tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons*. Books aren’t the only things that face scrutiny and often censorship; stop by and learn about Dungeons and Dragons and its history.
      *While this isn’t technically a “Stranger Things”-themed night, we wouldn’t stop any Elevens or Hoppers who want to stop by. No Demogorgns allowed.
    • 6pm, KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • This is a free event
Tuesday, Sept 27
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Actress Constance Macy presenting a dramatic reading from the often-challenged young adult author Judy Bloom and her book Forever.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave.
  • Evening Event: Talking About Banned Books: Negotiating Values and Conflicts
    • Has your child’s school ever banned a book? Or has a teacher assigned your child materials you felt were inappropriate? Are you an educator or administrator trying to walk that fine line between protecting and enlightening students? IU McKinney School of Law is joining us to present a mock mediation between a parents and administrators in those sticky situations. Support for this program comes from the IU McKinney School of Law and the Writing Program, IUPUI English Department.
    • 5pm, Wynne Courtroom and Atrium, Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York Street, IUPUI Campus
    • This is a free event, but please register
Wednesday, Sept 28
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Indiana ACLU’s Katie Blair and Freedom Indiana’s Kit Malone will read selections from their favorite banned books.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: Censorship and the Women’s Body panel discussion.
    • We’re teaming up with the Indiana ACLU to present to take a look at another form of censorship and discuss its role in human history and our culture today: the censoring of female-identified bodies. Panelists include Professor of Anthropology Vivian Deno of Butler University, Michelle Jordan of Queering Indy, Kit Malone of Freedom Indiana, and author Betsy Blankenbaker. The panel will be moderated by Prof. Terri Carney of Butler University.
    • 6pm, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • Limited Spacing available, Sold Out
Thursday, Sept 29
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: NUVO’s Amber Stearns reads from her favorite banned book and Indy Writers Center Barb Shoup will read from her own challenged novel.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: A Night with Jacqueline Woodson
    • DePauw University hosts a very special Banned Books Week guest: Young People’s Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodsoon! Ms. Woodson is a prolific and celebrated author whose books, including the bestselling Brown Girl Dreaming, have often been banned or challenged.
    • 7pm, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
    • Limited Spacing available, please register for this free event.
Friday, Sept 30
  • Noon-Time Lunch Series: Author Dan Wakefield and KVML Curator Chris LaFave will read from their favorite banned books.
    • 12pm-1pm, bring your lunch, KVML 340 N. Senate Ave
  • Evening Event: Vonnegut’s Secretary of the Future, a discussion with Marketplace Morning Report’s David Brancaccio. Panelists include Nanny Vonnegut, Terrian Barnes, Aman Brar, Sam Van Aken, Jason Kelly. Thank you to the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and WFYI for their support to bring this program to Indianapolis.
    • 6pm, Shortridge High School
    • Limited seating available, please register for this free event.

There will be something new to see and something more to learn every day at the Vonnegut Library during Banned Books Week. You don’t want to miss this week!

Feel free to check out the list of banned or challenged books.

Keep an eye on this page, and Facebook and Twitter for a full schedule of events.

Become a defender of intellectual freedom

The Vonnegut Library seeks support for its Banned Books Week activities this year. We are looking for donations and volunteers. To learn more about our Banned Books Week activities and donate to the cause, email us.  Please e-mail us at [email protected] if you can help with events.