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Banned Books Week 2011 is the thirtieth annual celebration of the freedom to read. This freedom, not only to choose what we read, but also to select from a full array of possibilities, is firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week, running this year from September 24 to October 1.

The Falmouth Public Library will launch the celebration with a return visit of caricature artist Paul Merklein.  He will present Famous Authors & Banned Books sketching famous faces from banned books and talking about why some books have been banned. Who will he draw next?  Paul’s unique show combines art, comedy and audience participation.  This program, sponsored by the Falmouth Public Library Trustees is FREE of charge and appropriate for ages 10 and up.  Don’t miss “big face” artist Paul Merklein on Saturday, September 24 at 2:00 in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room. 

The Library will close out the week with an extraordinary and unusual program. In cooperation with the Falmouth Public Library, Petra Ehrenbrink, director and producer of local nonprofit theatrical programs, will present a dramatic reading from Sophocles’ The Women of Trachis.  Written about 2,500 years ago, this play deals with pain, suffering and death.  The Falmouth Public Library has received special permission to use the translation of Bryan Doerries for this event.  He is a co-founder of Outside the Wire, a social impact theater company that uses drama and other media to address public health issues.  He promotes the relevance of classical literature as a platform for discussing the issues of today.  Following the performance, Dr. Peter Hopewood, Chairperson of the Falmouth Hospital Cancer Committee, will facilitate a discussion with the audience about these inevitable end of life issues.

The performance begins at 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 1, in the Falmouth Public Library’s Hermann Foundation Meeting Room.  This program, sponsored by the Falmouth Public Library Trustees, is FREE of charge and open to the public.  For more information call 508-457-2555, ext. 6 or email:

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