Home 9 Featured Posts 9 ATG Quirkies: The smallest library in Maine is on a mission to bring banned books to its community

ATG Quirkies: The smallest library in Maine is on a mission to bring banned books to its community

by | Mar 23, 2022 | 0 comments

The smallest library in Maine is on a mission to bring banned books to its community appears in Bangor Daily News and is by Abigail Curtis.

When Eva Murray recently took a trip to the mainland to buy books for the Matinicus Island Library, she came back with bags full of field guides — “They’re popular here,” she said — and books requested by islanders that have been banned or challenged elsewhere in America.

Located 22 miles out to sea, Maine’s likely smallest library — and one of its newest — is on a mission to fill its shelves with books that other communities are taking off their shelves.

With a population of only about 100 people, tolerance of others and appreciation for differences matter on the island. That is one reason why the library volunteers are choosing to take this stance.

The books include classics such as “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck and “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. Islanders also requested “Maus,” by Art Spiegelman, but Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Rockland was out of copies so she will have to special order it.

There are newer books, too. A picture book first published in 2005, “And Tango Makes Three,” tells the true story of two male penguins at Central Park Zoo in New York City who raised a chick together. It is one of the most banned books in the country, according to the American Library Association

“I am about to rubber stamp those books and take them down to the library,” she said. “We are buying banned books in order to publicly push back against the impetus to ban books. To say, ‘If you don’t want it in your library, we want it in ours…’ ”

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