Around the country, we have seen the proliferation of book challenges and bans by school districts and local governments. These bans often target books that feature LGBTQ+ characters; talk about gender and sexuality; highlight racial disparities; or talk about difficult issues such as substance abuse and cases of police violence. Students, teachers, and curious minds should be able to access materials that spark critical thinking, cover difficult topics, and appeal to diverse interests without fear of government interference.
Luckily, Vermont has not fallen victim to the same trend that is plaguing other parts of the country. That does not mean that book have not been challenged in this state or that we are immune from going down that same path. If we don’t talk about the importance of representation, of free speech, and of open dialogue and exchange of ideas, then we risk losing sight of these concepts.
That is why I am hosting a series of Banned Book Readings and Discussions this summer and fall in communities around the state. I, as well as special guests, will be reading passages from books that have been the subjects of bans and holding a discussion about their importance. If you are interested in participating in this conversation, or just learning more about book banning, I encourage you to join me at one (or more!) of these events.
I will be announcing more stops as the summer goes by, but for now, our first stops will be in Burlington, Brattleboro, Waterbury, Manchester Center, and Bellows Falls. Keep an eye out for emails announcing more events, or check out our web page where we’ll be adding details on new stops as they’re announced. RSVPs are encouraged but not required. I hope to see you there!
Date: Wednesday, June 28th
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Phoenix Books Burlington, 191 Bank St, Burlington, VT 05401
Date: Wednesday, July 5th
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Everyone’s Books, 25 Elliot St, Brattleboro, VT 05301
Date: Wednesday, July 12th
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Bridgeside Books, 29 Stowe St #1, Waterbury Village Historic District, VT 05676
Date: Wednesday, July 19th
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Northshire Bookstore, 4869 Main St, Manchester Center, VT 05255
Date: Wednesday, August 2nd
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, VT 05101
Lt. Governor David Zuckerman
Lt. Gov Banned Books Tour: Burlington
Join Lt. Governor David Zuckerman and special guests to hear passages from books that have been the subject of bans and participate in a discussion about the importance of free speech, open dialogue, democracy, and representation!
Check back here for program details as we get closer to the event.
For more stops on this tour, check out our website: ltgov.vermont.gov/banned-books