aclunvRENO, NV - On Tuesday, October 2nd at 6 pm, the community is invited to an exciting event exploring censorship and the importance of artistic freedom. Moderated by Ellen Hopkins, the New York Times bestselling author whose book Crank was the fourth most frequently challenged book of 2010, the celebration will be an opportunity for community leaders to share a dynamic excerpt from their favorite banned or challenged book.

“We are thrilled to work with our partner organizations to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week,” said Angela Francis of the ACLU of Nevada. “An event like this reminds us to not take our freedom to read for granted as it highlights the benefits of access to information and expression of ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered controversial.”

The program is scheduled to coincide with the American Library Association’s Banned Books week, which occurs September 30 through October 6.

“Libraries nationwide celebrate banned books week so the library is honored to be a part of this collaborative event,” said Arnie Maurins of the Washoe County Library System. “For 30 years, this event has highlighted the importance, value, and freedom that come with access to all varieties of information.” Washoe County Library System will provide a sampling of banned and challenged books for display, as well as their monthly newsletter, library hours, and information about the vast resources they make available to the community.

“As a local and independent bookstore, Grassroots Books has always supported free thinking and free expression,” said Geoff McFarland of Grassroots Books. “In honor of that, we are excited to be giving away free copies of selected banned or challenged books at this year’s event.”

Now in its third year, I Read Banned Books will be a compelling and entertaining evening that engages our community in a dialogue about censorship and underscores how freedom of expression is a vital component of the American identity.

"As part of our effort to empower writers, we also support empowering readers," said Maureen McBride of the UNR Writing Center.

The following community leaders are scheduled to appear: Dave Aiazzi (Reno City Councilman), Christina Barr (Nevada Humanities – Executive Director), Christine Cheney (University of Nevada, Reno: College of Education – Dean), Sue Clark (Retired Arts Administrator and Community Leader), Daniel Coffey (University of Nevada, Reno: College of Liberal Arts – Student Senator), Ellen Fockler (Retired Washoe County School District Library Coordinator), Courtney Kiley (UNR chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta – Chief Executive Officer), Arnie Maurins (Washoe County Library System – Director), PAN Pantoja (Spoken Views – Member), Joaquin Roces (Local Author), Sean Savoy (Jamilian University – Chancellor; Lecturer, Author and Radio Host), and Vanessa Spinazola (ACLU of Nevada – Legislative and Advocacy Director).

Event Details: