Hundreds of books are challenged in United States schools and libraries each year, according to our September program presenter Leslie Lewis Kirkwood. These challenges can be attempts to remove or restrict materials, while “a banning” is the removal of those materials. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom reports 275 challenges recorded nationally during 2015, but it’s noted that reporting is not mandatory in all states. The Jacksonville Public Library reports 70 challenges to materials since 2000. In Duval County Public Schools nearly 300 book challenges were reported between 1978 – 2012. In fact, the Newbery Award-winning book, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by late Jacksonville author E.L. Kongisburg, appears on the list.
Ms. Kirkwood, Chair of Banned: A Community Conversation about Censorship and Free Speech will present crucial history and background and include Barbara A. B. Gubbin, Director of Jacksonville Public Library, in this important conversation. The presentation also incorporates performances by Jason Woods, actor/director.
Leslie Kirkwood is is a current chair of Banned: Censorship and Free Speech (a series of public programs—community conversations—that examines the delicate balance between censorship and free speech) and Remembering for the Future Community Holocaust Initiative (an organization that focuses attention on Holocaust education and remembrance through educational resources, teacher training, major exhibitions and community programs.). She is also the Vice-President of Urban Dynamics Corporation, a member of the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library and the former Executive Director of the Jacksonville Public Libraries Foundation.
The reception begins at 6:30pm with the program to follow at 7pm. Both events will be held at Old St. Andrew’s, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32202.
Free parking is available in the lot behind the Merrill House and Old St. Andrew’s, along Duval Street.
Security will be on duty.
Your guests are welcome.
A suggested donation for non-members is $5, students free with proper ID.