A Prisoner at the Vonnegut Library for Banned Books Week
INDIANAPOLIS--It's Banned Books Week and to bring attention to your freedom of speech and freedom from censorship, a man is living in the window of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in downtown Indianapolis. He's a "prisoner" of censorship.
"He is surrounded by a wall of banned books and he will sleep there all week long," said Julia Whitehead, founder and CEO of the library. The man is from the University of South Carolina communications department.
Whitehead said Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Assoc., holds a special meaning for the Vonnegut Library.
"It was in our very first year of existence that one of Vonnegut's books, 'Slaughterhouse Five', was banned. Then we started celebrating Banned Books Week every year," she said.
Whitehead said books end up being banned in local school districts across the country for a number of reasons. She said it doesn't make much sense when kids can get most of the information they want from the internet.
"Usually it's a parent who will go to the school and say they don't want their child reading that book. And, not only that, they don't want anybody reading that book."
She said parents get upset sometimes by profanity, sometimes by a suggestion of sex, but that it can end up with whatever book is being complained about being taken off the school library shelf. Whitehead believes it's a freedom of speech issue.
PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis
Julia Whitehead talks with 93WIBC's Terri Stacey