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Poultney Library engages patrons: READ!

Following on the heels of the American Library Association's Banned Books Week 2010, several area libraries-including the Poultney Public Library-are encouraging people to challenge the books banned for one controversial reason or another. (See the Outlook, Sept. 22 issue, page 1.)

Rebecca Cook, director, for the Poultney Public Library, is proud of the library's banned book window display.

"I plan to engage adults to participate in a group discussion for the next six months. We'll meet for the first time on Oct. 16," she said.

Each month participants will read a book, beginning with "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.

Once a month on Saturdays at 9 a.m., the gathering will commence with coffee, tea, baked goods, and why a book would be controversial.

"It's the job of the adults in this group to figure out what's objectionable," she said.

"Along with the policy of the American Society, we have a 'freedom to read statement'. Entertainment is a matter of choice and should be appropriate for each individual based on their interests," Cook added.

Cook said the First Amendment First Aid Kit poster, titled "Censorship Causes Blindness-READ!", sets the tone for the library's freedom to choose what we want to read.

Not only are adults outraged by banned books, but students, as well. Some feel that books should not be banned at all, but on the other hand they feel sometimes it may be necessary.

The style of the book moves along the plot, and most would agree that American "classics", for example, "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Huckleberry Finn", not only teach valuable life lessons, but should not remain on the banned list due to the nature of the language used-the authors conveyed and portrayed the historical era through the plot and characters.

Several Poultney students visited the display and commented that feel if more books are banned, American freedom is diminished resulting in fewer books to read.

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