Sherburne Public Library: "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us."
Published: September 23rd, 2022

SHERBURNE — September 18 though 24 is Banned Books Week. This seems more important this year than ever. The theme of this year’s event is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us."

The number of challenged books is on the rise — the American Library Association (ALA) reports that from 2020 to 2021, the number of books challenged more than doubled. Many banned or challenged books center around LGBTQ+ topics, but remember that staples of school curriculums such as "Of Mice and Men," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "The Bluest Eye" are also among the most frequently challenged books.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information.

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Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. Stop by our library to see our banned books display in our YA section.

Be daring, open your mind to something different – read a Banned Book in celebration of your freedom to do so!

Please join us for our first community job fair on Thursday, October 6 at the Sherburne American Legion from 4 to 7 p.m. Sponsored by the Sherburne Public Library, the job fair idea came as a result of our recent community survey with the local businesses. It seemed that there was a need for some area businesses to gain more notice and, due to the fact that there seemed to be many job openings in area businesses, we felt this might be a way to do both, giving the businesses a spotlight and a way for local job seekers to see what is available in our community.

Science Explorers returns at the end of September! In partnership with Cooperative Extension/4-H, students eight years old and up will have fun experimenting, building, and learning about nature and the natural world around us.

Erica Clark from Cooperative Extension/4-H will continue leading the group on all their adventures. The group will meet monthly on the fourth Monday at the library from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Many meetings will occur outside. The first meeting is September 26. Please contact the library to register by calling 607-674-4242 or email

The annual Fall Family Festival is happening again this year on Saturday, October 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. This free event will have games, crafts, a costume contest, and other fun activities! There will also be a box for donations to our local food pantry since this event is part of the Great Give Back – an opportunity to give back to our community.

At 2 p.m. there will be a special presentation by Jessica Farmer – a Storyteller from the Oneida Nation. Get it on your calendar and keep watch for more details coming soon!

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In case you haven’t heard, our new library doors are open for use! We now have an ADA button which opens the right hand door automatically and makes us more accessible for all people.

The button is located next to the book drop on the left wall when you approach the doors. The right hand door will open and the elevator is straight ahead. If you use the stairs, the left ones take you up to the main library and the stairs to the right take you down to the children’s room. When leaving, the ADA button is on the left wall as you exit the library.

Going forward we will continue using the old main doors in the good weather months and will close it up for the winter. The current book drop we have been using will remain until we close up the door this winter and then we will use the new book drop by the newer doors exclusively. The old book drop will go back into retirement.

Our open hours remain Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Masks are optional in our library. 

See you at the library!

- Colleen Law-Tefft, Library Manager