Pratt Contemporaries Celebrate Banned Books

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By Roswell Encina

What do Harry Potter, Holden Caulfield, Jay Gatsby, Atticus Finch and Christian Grey have in common? All are characters from banned and challenged books.

Its hard to believe some of our beloved classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, and Catcher in the Rye as well as recent best-sellers like the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series have been challenged by certain groups.

Thats why the Enoch Pratt Free Library's young professionals group, Pratt Contemporaries, celebrated these banned books during a special happy hour at the Central Library.

For fifty years, the American Library Association has been saluting and commemorating Banned Books Week. Its an annual celebration to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community—librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types—in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some considered unorthodox or unpopular. Check out the ALA's frequently challenged books to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning.

The Pratt Contemporaries celebrated banned books with a fun happy hour among its members and their guests. Everyone had an opportunity to get their banned books mug shot taken, tour the historic Central Library, look at a display of rare books and enjoy beer, wine and snacks provided by The Wine Source and Harris Teeter. See more photos from the event.

Banned Books Mug Shots
Banned Books Happy Hour group

"The Pratt Contemporaries support the ideas and mission of the Pratt Library system," said Kate Powell, Chair of the Pratt Contemporaries and Pratt Library Board member. "Through social networking events for young professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s, we are introducing future donors to the great work and service the Pratt offers the Baltimore community. We put the 'fun' in fundraising!"

To date, the Pratt Contemporaries has raised nearly $200,000 for the library system. Funds were used to enhance the Pratt's children and teen literacy efforts and renovate branches like the Edmondson Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue Branches. Their signature event, Black and White Party, has sold out every year. Their next event is a Trivia Night scheduled for November 1 at the Central Library. Register here.

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