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Banned Books Trading Cards from the Lawrence Public Library

Since 1982, the last week of September has been known as Banned Books Week, and is a time to reflect on censorship in the literary world, celebrate the freedom of information and access to literature, and review the most frequently banned and challenged titles today.

For the annual observance of Banned Books Week last week, the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, Kansas decided to highlight the importance of freedom of information with a creative, artistic project. They put a call out to the local artists of the community to each create a unique, small-scale work of art, on paper, celebrating a banned or challenged or book or author, however the artist saw fit, with the end goal of a set of seven trading cards.

The call for submissions garnered 46 entries, which was narrowed down to seven top selections by the judges. The top seven were made into a set of trading cards, one for each day of Banned Book Week, and given away at the library and the Lawrence Arts Center. Demand and attention were so great that the library has done a second printing of the cards, available for purchase (in-person or online) for $7.00/set, with all proceeds going to the library and to the artists of the cards. You can see some of the submissions here, as well as reading each author’s statement about his/her piece, or buy the cards here (for a limited time, while supplies last).

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