Submitted by Sandra Bearden
Six Trussville residents will be arrested and booked for reading banned books at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept.30 at the Trussville Public Library. The event is being held in conjunction with Banned Books Week, which takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 6. The event will help raise funds for the library.
On the “arrest” list are Trussville Councilman Buddy Choat; Father William P. Lucas of Holy Infant of Prague Catholic Church; Library Board member and writer June Mathews; Chamber of Commerce President Lance Pate, who is associate pastor at First Baptist Church; Friends of Trussville Library President Marti Slay; and Paine Primary School Principal Betsy Schmitt.
These “criminals” will be reading books that have been banned through the centuries, when Trussville police handcuff them and take them to City Hall. From there, Judge Virginia Vinson will conduct a hearing and issue fines totaling $6,000.
“It’s all in good fun,” Friends President Slay said. “Banned Books Week, observed by libraries throughout the U. S., recognizes the First Amendment rights to read, write and speak without governmental restraints.
The group will be seeking donations to pay ‘fines’ that will benefit library programs and projects. With a library expansion in the city’s plans, this is an opportunity to raise funds for needed furnishings and equipment.
Arrestees will be reading books that include some of the world’s great literature that has been banned throughout the centuries. Pate has chosen to read from the Bible, number one on many lists of banned books. Other readings include: “Diary of a Young Girl” (Anne Frank’s diary), Father Lucas; “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Choat; “All the King’s Men”, Mathews; “Huckleberry Finn”, Slay; and “A Wrinkle in Time”, Schmitt.
“The fact that the Bible tops many lists and is also the most-read book of all time shows that book-banning is ineffective,” Slay said
Collection points will be the Trussville library, Chamber of Commerce office, City Hall, Southern Magnolia Gifts, Teaching Things and Holy Infant church. Checks can be mailed to Friends of the Trussville Library, 201 Parkway Drive, Trussville, AL 35173. Donations are tax deductible.