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Banned Books Week at the Vonnegut Library

543 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46202


Indianapolis celebrates freedom to read with Banned Books Week “Prisoner” and week of programming.

This year, Rai Peterson, will spend the week in our storefront museum window, trapped behind a “prison” wall constructed of banned books.

Rai is a faculty member in the Department of English at Ball State University. She and her students participated in an immersive learning project to create a traveling exhibit, oral history interviews, a digital document repository, a business plan, and items for the gift shop at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in 2012.

The following year, students and she took the exhibit to Dresden, Germany where they gave public presentations about Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse-Five. Rai serves on the Advisory Board to the KVML.


  • September 25
    • Join us for a film screening of Naked Lunch (1991) and enjoy Jockamo’s Pizza and beer from TwoDEEP Brewing Co. This film is rated R for heavy drug content, bizarre eroticism, and language. KVML.

  • September 26
    • Journalists David Hoppe, Lou Harry and Tina Horn discuss freedom of the press and read from one of our favorite banned books. Bring your lunch. 12-1 pm. KVML.

    • Not everyone thinks so! Hear DePauw University professor Jeff McCall and Christiane Wisehart of the Prindle Institute for Ethics share a banned books podcast. 6-8 pm. KVML.

  • September 27
    • Ed Dowling of Operation Ingsoc discusses fighting censorship and his research. Bring your lunch. 12-1 pm. KVML.

    • A program on sex addiction & mental health challenges within the sex industry. Featuring; Stefanie Jeffers, Founder & CEO of Grit Into Grace; Tina Horn, Rolling Stones Journalist; Dr. Maria Hanzlik, Sex Therapist; & Justin Lehmiler, Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. 6-8 pm. KVML.

  • September 28
    • Juan Thompson reads from his father Hunter S. Thompson’s Kentucky Derby and discusses gambling addiction. Bring your lunch. 12-1 pm. KVML.

    • Dramatic reading of Alabama Story with talk back after the performance with playwright, Kenneth Jones. In the two-act Alabama Story, a gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message — a black rabbit marries a white rabbit! — stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Another story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a white woman, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play. 6-8 pm. Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall at Butler University.

  • September 29
    • The week ends with a program for teens and their families. Experts will discuss suicide awareness and mental health challenges that impact Indiana youth. Speakers include Karla Kirby, Director of Nursing at the Behavioral Health Pavilion; Madeline Zielinski, Youth MOVE National; and Katie Kivisto, Associate Professor of Clinical Child Psychology, University of Indianapolis. 12-1:30 pm. KVML.

    • Speakers discuss the lives of Sylvia Plath, Zelda Fitzgerald and Assia Wevill and the mental health challenges that affect many creative minds. Presenters include Rai Peterson, Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick, and Michael Shelden. 3-4 pm. KVML.