Gadsden Public Library hosts event for Banned Books week


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

In an eerie event on Sept. 23, the Gadsden Public Library invited patrons to ponder the freedom to read what they want with a performance art event that focused on the banning – and burning of books.

Gadsden State Art Instructor Mario Gallardo and his students created art depicting burned books, and he participated in the evening event, as people wrote the names of favorite books on paper, tied it into a scroll and threw it into a fire pit, symbolizing the burning of books. They then lit a candle in honor of books that have been banned — many of them represented alongside the candles — and were invited to write a love letter about their favorite books or their love of reading.

Inside the library, those who attended were invited to sign a declaration against banning books and  and received an anniversary edition of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” a book about a future society where firemen are responsible for burning books.

Banned Book Week events continued with lectures and discussions of Bradbury’s book, the subject of this year’s Gadsden Reads campaign. Gadsden State instructor Chris Harrision lectured about the book at a Sept. 24 event and Dr. Robert Woods, a four-year fellow at the Bradbury Center spoke at the Sept. 25 Kiwanis luncheon.

Events will continue this week. On Sept. 26, there will be a discussion of “Fahrenheit 451” with inmates at the Etowah County Detention Center, and a public discussion at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at Back Forty Beer Company. Participants will be responsible for their own bar tabs.

At 6 p.m. Sept. 27, visit the Gadsden Museum of Art for a Banned Books Book Art Exhibit and live readings from banned books.

For additional information, contact Carol York at  256-549-4699, ext. 107 or  at

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