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  • NYS Writers Institute

Event: "Free Banned Books!" in Saratoga Springs

"Freedom of thought -- freedom of expression -- it's central to our democracy."

-- Paul Grondahl, Director NYS Writers Institute



Listen to a discussion of this event that aired on WAMC's Roundtable on Tuesday, Aug. 16.


In the wake of the attack on Sir Salman Rushdie on Friday -- more on that tomorrow --, we're proud to co-sponsor the launch of a new Little Liberty Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 24, at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs.


The "Free Banned Books!" event will feature a ribbon-cutting for the new Little Liberty Library that will be housed in the Caffe Lena courtyard, live music with Dan Berggren, and a group of local authors who'll read selections from titles that have been banned or challenged.


From NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl:

"The New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany is proud to support the Little Free Library in Saratoga Springs. For 39 years, since our founding in 1983 by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, we have championed the cause of literature as an art form that enriches our lives. We have welcomed more than 2,000 writers from around the world to our campus, we place no limits on what they can say, and we never would think of doing so.


Freedom of expression is sacrosanct.


We celebrate a diverse range of voices and every genre imaginable while upholding the Constitutional right to free speech and a free press. We abhor attempts at censorship in any form and we will challenge any effort to restrict what we can read, write or say. Great writing is a powerful force, and instead of fearing it or trying to control it, we should give it free rein and let it elevate the human condition."


Join us for the Little Liberty Library launch!


7 p.m. Wednesday, August 24

Caffe Lena

47 Phila Street

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


The price of admission is a banned book or a donation to keep the library stocked.

Organized by author and editor Patricia Nugent, sponsors include the NYS Writers Institute, the NYCLU, Yaddo, and the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County.


Here are some lists of banned books:

American Library Association: Banned and Challenged Classics

Scholastic: The Ultimate List of Banned Books Goodreads.com: Best Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books

Parade.com: The 100 Most Banned Books