HomeNewsHopkinton Public Library takes on Book Banning with Read-In

Hopkinton Public Library takes on Book Banning with Read-In

Published on

The Hopkinton Public Library with be hosting a read-in at the Town Common on Thursday, October 5 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

The “Read-In” is meant to mark Banned Books Week. Bring a chair or blanket and any book to read; anything from a large print or audiobook to a comic or magazine. The librarians won’t judge, and that is precisely their point.

Book bans have risen precipitously in the past few years with the intent to limit the types of books available in public libraries. At the Hopkinton Public Library, however, they advocate for everyone’s right to read and select books that are right for them.

>> RELATED: Northview Public Schools to consider removing 8 books from schools

>> RELATED: Library funding becomes the ‘nuclear option’ as the battle over books escalates

Public and school libraries across the US are having books removed from their shelves due to complaints. These books range from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, to the Holy Bible, to This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, to the Bad Kitty children’s series. At the Hopkinton Public Library, it is believed that the only person is able to decide if a book is right for them, is themself (or their parents, if the person is a child). To that end, they stock their shelves with books that display a wide variety of ideas, colors, genders, nationalities, abilities, and interests, so that everyone who walks in can find something that is right for them.

The Hopkinton Public Library encourages you to pass the word, invite friends, family, co-workers, and organizations that you belong to. They would love to have as many readers as would like to come. Librarians at the Common will also have a selection of books that residents can borrow if they did not bring one with them.

They will also be able to sign people up for library cards, so it’s a great opportunity to get one or renew your card if it has expired. They are also expecting some of our State Representatives to make an appearance, so this will be a great opportunity to tell them in person about the value that the libraries provide to their communities.

Latest articles

Catch up with a briefing of the most important and interesting stories from Hopkinton delivered to your inbox.


  1. “At the Hopkinton Public Library, it is believed that the only person is able to decide if a book is right for them, is themself (or their parents, if the person is a child). ”

    “Public and school libraries across the US are having books removed from their shelves due to complaints.”

    I’m sorry in my opinion shoddy reporting and conflating two issues. You can’t say in one breath that parents have a right to say what their child reads and in the next, books should not be banned from School libraries. It is my belief that this is a deliberate intent to obfuscate the issue. There is a growing attempt in this country to take parental rights away and then claim if the parents “complain” they are for book banning. This is the very definition of the straw man argument. BTW it’s themselves.

    • There is a difference between a parent choosing that they think a book isn’t right for their own child and actively working to have that book removed to the point that it interferes with another parent’s right (and the child’s own right) to read that book.

    • Not sure this is a contradiction. If you as a parent disagree with a certain book then you have the choice to not read it, but that does not mean it should be removed from the library. Books should not be banned from public libraries, and a parent has the right to choose what they read and not read. Both ideas can coexist.

    • You are wrong. You can have both.

      I decide what is appropriate for me and my family. You do not. No one has the right to tell someone else what to think. Removing books is forcing puritan values on those who are using the library. If I don’t like ‘The Book of Mormon’ or ‘Dianetics’, I don’t have any right to ask for it to be removed from any library. Likewise, you shouldn’t have the right to ask for ‘And Tango Makes Three’ removed from my child’s library.

  2. You prove my point. You’re confusing all libraries with school libraries. Btw I’m talking about what parents wish to allow their children to read. Parents should be able to allow their children to read or not to read books according to their own values. I’m not sure why this is controversial.

    • Your right to prevent your child from reading shouldn’t interfere with my right to allow my child to read.

      Don’t want your child to read a book? Fine. They’ll read it when they are out of your control.

      Don’t want to allow my child to read a book? That’s a problem.

      • Then you can provide those books yourself. Why wouldn’t you at least want to know what child is reading regardless of your values? Again can someone explain to me how controlling what your child is exposed to is controversial?

        • Controlling what MY child is exposed to is not controversial. Controlling what YOUR child is exposed to is not controversial.

          Your controversial is different from my controversial. It’s when you want to limit MY ability to decide what is exposed to is the problem.

          If I want to allow my high schooler to read Chuck Tingle’s book “Not Pounded By The Physical Manifestation Of Someone Else’s Doubt In My Place On The Autism Spectrum Because Denying Someone’s Personal Journey And Identity Like That Is Incredibly Rude So No Thanks”, I should totally be allowed to do that. A library might not want to carry it, for various reasons (especially since it’s just an ebook), but a library should NOT be told that they can’t carry it. It’s my choice to decide that it’s acceptable for my child.

          Likewise, if you want your child to read something by Kirk Cameron, that’s okay. I don’t care. I find his books and world view reprehensible; however, you are free to have that choice. Likewise, the library should not be told they can’t carry it. It’s my choice to decide that it’s not acceptable for my child.

          I don’t get to tell your child what to read. You don’t get to tell my child what to read.

          It’s not acceptable to decide unilaterally what is and isn’t allowed. Don’t like it? Don’t let your child go to the library.

          • Society has standards and I see the recent hype about this rather concerning on both sides. Book bans are not a solution (Im a strong believer in the first amendment), however limiting certain material to age groups is wise. You wouldn’t (at least I hope you wouldn’t) provide P**n to the masses of children, even if one family wants their child exposed. I believe that’s the issue here – restriction based on an age criteria. We have these societal norms that are already in place for driving, smoking, drinking, etc. It should be no different in the book format no matter which side of the political spectrum you are on.

  3. We all have the right to read our choice of reading material. However, even a public library is divided into adult a children’s spaces. The beauty of a children’s room is that it offers safe space for a child to freely discover books that capture their interest and imagination. That said, the librarian makes selections or judgements based on some sort of criteria. Not all published books are curated. We know this. Should the following picture book, written for 7+ years be on the shelves available to any child, at any age, at any time? What’s an Abortion Anyway? By Carly Manes.

    • Sure! It’s an important book for some children. I don’t know the entire book, but books about healthcare are important. See the website:

      Abortion can be a difficult topic to broach among adults, let alone children. As abortion doulas, we know how important it is to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to have intentional, compassionate, and nonjudgmental conversations about abortion care with the young people in their lives. To our knowledge, there are currently no published books in the US that use the word “abortion” for children under the age of 13. Parents, caretakers, and providers need and deserve a nonjudgmental, gender-inclusive, and medically accurate resource to use in discussions with children about abortion.

      It’s not ‘Let’s have an abortion!’. It’s a discussion about abortion as a medical procedure. I’m guessing it’s primarily to talk with children under 13 about abortions with a parent for multiple reasons. Perhaps the parent is/had an abortion, and they want to explain why the child won’t actually have a sibling. Perhaps it’s to explain it about a friend or sibling having an abortion. Or, in a terrible case, what will happen after a sexual assault if the young child gets pregnant.

      I see it in the same vein of “When Dinosaurs Die”, “The Puddle Jumper’s Guide to Kicking Cancer” or “When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends”. It’s all about talking to your children about difficult things.

      Future advice: Look up what you are going to condemn before you actually condemn it. Otherwise, you’ll look silly.
      Back to the subject: I don’t want Pence’s Marlon Bundo in my child’s library. I want the Better Bundo Book. I don’t think Pence’s book should be ‘curated’ – but I’m not going to tell anyone they CAN’T shelve it.

      If Pence’s book is on the shelf next to Better Bundo, I’ll make sure to chose Better Bundo. If my child REALLY wants to read Pence, I’ll disagree with that decision. If your child wants to read Pence, I don’t have ANY right to tell them not to read it.

      • The question is where the books are shelved. Should books containing adult topics be shelved at the eye level of a young child in any children’s library? The death of a dinosaur is not equivalent to the death of the pre-born, whether aborted or miscarried.

  4. If I may ask the author to cite where books have been banned from public libraries. I see books banned from school libraries; I see requests to ban in public libraries- but I can’t find any reports where public actually banned a book. Thank you

If you wish to remain anonymous, please indicate so in your comment and your name will be changed prior to publishing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

20th Century Homes

More like this