INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Senator Andrea Hunley (D – Indianapolis) will moderate a discussion with acclaimed Hoosier author John Green at 6PM Monday, October 2 at Clowes Auditorium in honor of Banned Books Week. The pair will discuss banned and challenged books and intellectual freedom in a conversation organized by Indianapolis Public Library.
“I began my career in education as a high school English teacher, and I have read all of Mr. Green’s books – Looking for Alaska is a favorite of mine,” Senator Hunley said. “So naturally, I am thrilled to be part of this conversation.”
Banned Books Week (October 1-7) draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom document 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number since the ALA began compiling data more than 20 years ago. The theme for Banned Books Week 2023 is “Let Freedom Read”.
The October 2 panel comes in the wake of the Hamilton County Library board removing one of Green’s most popular novels, The Fault In Our Stars, from its young adult section last month. That title was replaced after public backlash, though the New York Times bestselling author’s body of work remains among the most challenged in schools and libraries nationwide.
Tickets to the event, which is free to the public, sold out in less than ten minutes. An Indianapolis Public Library official confirmed that the waitlist is already hundreds of names long. At Senator Hunley’s invitation, the League of Women Voters will be present to conduct voter registration.
“What makes this so important to me is that reading itself is a revolutionary act. Reading liberates our minds and gives us the freedom to find ourselves. Literacy – the right to literacy – is the foundation of a free life,” Senator Hunley said. “Now as a state senator, I find myself fighting a majority in the legislature that is quite literally banning subjects like race and sexuality from being discussed or available to read about in our public schools. The time to discuss whether these reactionary policies are going too far is before they go any further.”