Freedom to Read Foundation announces eight Judith Krug Fund grants for Banned Books Week events

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/05/2012

Contact:

Jonathan M. Kelley
Program Coordinator
Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)
800-545-2433 ext.4226
jokelley@ala.org

CHICAGO —The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), via its Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, has announced eight $1,000 grants to libraries, schools and other organizations in support of Banned Books Week events.  Banned Books Week, which will take place Sept. 30­–Oct. 6, 2012, celebrates the freedom to access information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship.  2012 marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, the third year of FTRF’s Judith Krug Fund grants and the first year that FTRF is an official Banned Books Week sponsor organization.

Recipients of this year’s grants are the ACLU of Pennsylvania, California Polytechnic State University, City Lit Theater Company (Chicago), Friends of the Talkeetna (Alaska) Public Library, Judith’s Reading Room, Lawrence (Kan.) Public Library, St. Catharine College (Ky.) and Simon Sanchez High School (Guam). 

“We are thrilled with the variety and scope of events among the record number of applications,” said FTRF Executive Director Barbara Jones.  “The best part about the Judith Krug Fund grants is that they encourage librarians, teachers and event planners to be creative with their plans, which helps make Banned Books Week more fun for readers in their communities, increases the week’s visibility and further spreads the message of the importance of the freedom to read—and the role of libraries in protecting that freedom.”   Jones noted that most of the grantees highlighted partnerships with other libraries and community organizations to stage and promote their events.

In exchange for the grant, recipients agree to provide FTRF with photos and video of their events.  Video from 2011 grant winners can be found on YouTube  and photos of 2011 grant winners are available on Flickr.  

In addition to the cash award, the Freedom to Read Foundation is providing Banned Books Week merchandise, sold by the American Library Association Store, to the grant recipients.  Many other Banned Books Week events around the country will be listed at www.bannedbooksweek.org.

Below is a description of grant-winning events:

ACLU of Pennsylvania, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, for their 17th annual “fREADom: A Celebration of the Freedom to Read,” Read-Out and the second annual “Banned After Dark” event featuring performances of banned or challenged plays, songs and other works.  This is the second grant for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, which also was awarded a grant in 2010.

California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library, for a banned author talk, Read-Out, and wall-sized Infographic featuring the most frequently challenged books of the last decade, among other events.

City Lit Theater Company, for “Books on the Chopping Block,” a week-long series of staged readings at Chicago-area public libraries of the previous year’s 10 most frequently challenged books as determined by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.  City Lit uses professional actors for these performances, which are followed by Q&A sessions with the audience.

Lawrence (Kan.) Public Library, for “Banned Books Week Trading Cards,” a daily giveaway of baseball-like cards depicting the artwork and “statistics” of various banned and challenged books.  Other events sponsored by the library will be a Read-Out, photo booth, panel discussion of local writers and attorneys with experience dealing with book challenges and “Cozy up to a Banned Book,” an interactive installation wherein patrons can sit in a recliner and read various library books.

Friends of the Talkeetna (Alaska) Public Library, in support of the Second Annual Great Talkeetna Festival of Books.  This year’s festival will feature the theme “Heroes and Villains” and focus on graphic novels and comics— an increasingly significant target of challenges.  Among the events will be a poster contest, scavenger hunt, parade of books, a film showing and a Battle of the (Banned!) Book Clubs reading porgram, culminating in a Jeopardy-style game show.  The library also will partner with local restaurants who will serve banned book themed food and drinks.

Judith’s Reading Room, for “Freedom Through Literature,” a three-pronged media and event campaign highlighting 30 years of banned books.  Judith’s Reading Room is a network of 30 custom-designed libraries around the world, including in VA and children’s hospitals, war zones and inner-city schools.  Each Judith’s Reading Room library will feature banned books and Banned Books Week posters.  Keynote events, including flash mobs and featured speakers, will take place at Lafayette College and Villanova University in Pennsylvania and at the University of Southern California.  Based in Western Pennsylvania, Judith’s Reading Room was established in 2010 in memory of Judith F. Krug.

St. Catharine College (Ky.), for a cook-out, chalk drawings and their fifth annual, three-day-long Banned Books Week Read-Out.  They also will sponsor an essay contest for local high school students.  St. Catharine was awarded a Judith Krug Fund grant in 2010.

Simon Sanchez High School (Guam), for Read-Outs, posters and a “Roadside Wave,” featuring celebratory boards and signs.  This will be the first commemoration of Banned Books Week for the school, based in Yigo on the northernmost part of Guam.  In 2000, the school library was decimated by a typhoon, and to date, not all of the resources have been replaced.  This is the first Judith Krug Fund grant for an organization in a U.S. territory.

The Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund was established after Krug’s death in April 2009.  Judith Krug was the founding executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, which was established in 1969 as a First Amendment legal defense organization affiliated with the American Library Association (ALA).  She helped found Banned Books Week in 1982 in her capacity as director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.