Banned Book Spotlight: To Kill a Mockingbird



If I had to pick my favorite book, no easy task, it would be To Kill a Mockingbird. Everything about it resonated with me from the first time I read it: the economy of language, the eccentric characters, the tomboy narrator I identified with so much.  The fact that Harper Lee had this one story to tell, told it perfectly and to great acclaim, and then retreated from public life almost sounds like an anecdote from Maycomb County, Alabama.

Over fifty years after being published, To Kill a Mockingbird is still fresh, relevant, and poignant. It’s also still a common target of challenges. Concerned citizens trying to have the book removed from school libraries and classroom have cited reasons as diverse (and ironic) as “racism” and “filthy, trashy” language. This book was required reading for me in ninth grade, a full four years after I read it the first time. The story is no less powerful with every read; the themes of loss of innocence, racial injustice, and gender inequality no less sharp.

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New To The Children’s Department

5000 awesome brave chicken little bruno and titch flare forget me not have you heard hermelin hueys if i'm my own dog lives exploreres m is for monster monsterator mr wayne superfab treasure who's next door

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#EPLBannedBooks celebrates the best of challenged and banned books

Have you been using the hashtag #EPLBannedBooks to share your favorite banned and challenged books on social media? Here are a few of the photos we’ve seen:

Banned Books Selfies

handmaids tale  Peoples History

What’s on your bookshelf?

tabby interference dirty house



Even Pets Can Appreciate Freedom to Read!

Wrinkle in Time Cat

Keep sharing your Banned Books Week favorites using the hashtag #EPLBannedBooks! Read more about our social media campaign by clicking here.

More on Banned Books:

Join the Banned
Top Banned and Challenged Books
The Importance of Freedom To Read

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Throwback Thursday: The Auburn Post Card Company in the John Martin Smith Collection

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

As you may know, there are quite a few post cards in the John Martin Smith Collection. Today, let’s take a look at one of the companies who manufactured these cards: the Auburn Post Card Company.

Post Card Company

In 1910, the Whitten-Dennison Post Card Company picked up and moved from Maine to Auburn, Indiana, where they built a small factory on East Seventh Street which employed five women. In 1913, the company’s name was changed to the Auburn Post Card Manufacturing Company.

Blue Sky

During what could be called the “golden era” of post cards—the early 1900s—the Auburn Post Card Mfg. Co. printed a variety of cards, but they were especially known for their “Blue Sky” designs, black-and-white picture post cards with a light blue sky printed over the top.

Post Card Back

The company changed names and owners several times. In 1929, it became known as the Auburn Greeting Card Company, and in 1933, it was acquired by D. E. Messenger and renamed the Messenger Corporation. The company, now known as Messenger LLC, currently creates funeral stationery.

To see some of their post cards, click here and search for “Auburn Post Card Manufacturing Company.”

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New Nonfiction At The Library

Caribbean flourless healthy smoothie no place Poe quick and healthy shocked Tennessee Williams virgin Washi Tape working stiff wrong carlos



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Banned Books Week 2014: The Importance of Freedom to Read

banned books week

Eckhart Public Library believes that Freedom to Read is incredibly important, and that’s why we celebrate Banned Books Week each year.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read Foundation; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

While books usually are challenged with the best intentions — to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information — we believe that it’s important to allow its patrons the freedom to read, view, and access whatever items they wish to access. Only parents and guardians are able to limit what their minor children access, because parents and guardians, not other adults in the community, are best equipped to help children make the best choices of what they read, view, hear, or receive at our library.

It’s an important component of our mission to serve the community by providing an environment and resources that foster lifelong learning and literacy. The library strives to provide materials for the entire community it serves, and reflect the community’s diversity by offering a wide range of materials that reflect the community.

We believe that protecting freedom to read is essential to continuing democracy in the United States. When people come into the library, they are trusted to make their decisions on what they view and believe, rather than sacrificing their First Amendment freedoms in order to be “protected” from unpopular or personally offensive views. We believe that society is strong enough to allow a wide variety of materials in the library collection, and that there is demand from the community for a variety of offerings.

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eBook Day!

On Thursday, September 18th, the wonderful folks at OverDrive are participating in Read an eBook Day!

How is OverDrive participating? Via Facebook and Twitter OverDrive is giving away devices and tablets every hour to readers who share their story using the hashtag #eBookDay.

Who is OverDrive? OverDrive is the company NIDL (Northeast Indiana Digital Library, the consortium the Eckhart Public Library is a part of) purchases our downloadable content from. I’ve spoken with multiple members of their staff and whenever we’ve had questions, problems, or any cause for needing their help everyone at OverDrive has been quick to respond with multiple suggestions and has done a fantastic job making sure libraries have the tools we need to help our readers.

Used with Creative Commons License, credit to Cloned Milkmen via Flickr.

Used with Creative Commons License, credit to Cloned Milkmen via Flickr.

Want to share, but don’t want to use Facebook or Twitter to do so? Visit to add your story.

Don’t forget! If you ever have questions about our eBooks and eAudios ask a staff member. We also have one-on-one technology help (Technology Tutoring) at no cost.


Heather: It’s no secret I love the digital content from NIDL. For me, it’s easy to download a book to read or listen to and the downloadable site is always available, so I don’t have to worry about making it in on time to the physical branch. If I know I’m going to be gone for a while and I know or think I might not have internet access I’ll download a few books so I know I have something to read. (Though I always have at least one physical book for low battery times!)

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