Freedom to Read 2022

Oshkosh Public Library celebrates freedom to read

Oshkosh Public Library has planned a variety of activities to celebrate the freedom to read. The events are part of a national celebration of Banned Books Week (Sept. 18 – 24).

Created in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of book challenges, Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The month kicks off with a free showing of the 1966 movie adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 on Sat., Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Time Community Theater.  

Other events include:

Mon., Sept. 5: Freedom to Read Scavenger Hunt begins
Fifty books will be hidden at different locations around the city–ten copies of five titles, which are on the American Library Association’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2021.

Find the hidden books by following the daily clues posted on the library’s Facebook page. The hunt continues until all the books are found.

Read the contest rules and see all five commemorative book covers created for this event!

Thurs., Sept. 1 – Fri., Sept. 30: Support an Author Postcard
Postcards and pens will be available in the Lower Level and on the Second Floor to make it easy to voice your support for authors.

Banned Book Discussions at Planet Perk
Examine some of the most challenged books of 2021 including the reasons behind the challenge, and the importance of upholding our freedom to read. Participants do not have to read the book to join the discussion. Each session is at 5 p.m.
•      Mon., Sept. 19 - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
•      Tues., Sept. 20 - All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson
•      Wed., Sept. 21 - Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
•      Thurs., Sept. 22 - Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
•      Fri., Sept. 23 - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Sat., Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. in the library’s Lower Level: Expert Panel Presentation and Discussion
What is the difference between “banning” and “challenging”? Can a book be un-banned? Is our freedom to read a protected right?

Panelists include Arian Bougie, Oshkosh North High School English teacher; Dr. Katrena Leininger, UWO assistant professor of Leadership, Literacy, and Social Foundations; and Miles Maguire, Oshkosh Examiner founder and editor.

In 2021, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services, affecting 1,597 books – the highest number of attempted book bans since the ALA began tracking this data 20 years ago. A list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2021 can be found on the ALA website at ala.org.