Book covers are both art and an act of communication: they tell you something about the book, and the best covers tell you quite a lot about the book. (In other words, if the cover design is good, you can judge a book by its cover.)
The covers of frequently banned or challenged books, then, are especially important. The Lawrence (Kansas) Public Library and the Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Public Library have started getting local artists to create designs for banned book covers; the best designs are then made into “banned book trading cards.”
This year at the Robbins Library, we want to throw this opportunity open to everyone in the community. Choose any book that has been banned or challenged, then put on your creativity hat and come up with a new design for that book’s cover. Bring your design to the reference desk at the library, and we’ll display all book cover art, starting the first day of Banned Books Week, September 21, and continuing through the end of the month.
Here’s how it works:
1. Stop by the Banned Books Week display to pick up a blank index card, or use one of your own.
2. Decorate the blank side of the card with your own design for a cover of a book that has been banned (or challenged, restricted, or removed). Use your imagination, and any medium you like – crayons, paint, collage, pen and ink, oil pastel…you can even make a design on the computer, print it out, and paste it to the card.
3. Write the book title, author’s name, and your name on the back (lined side) of the card, and bring it to the reference desk at the Robbins Library. If you’d like, you can include a sentence or two about why you chose this book and what you mean your design to convey.
4. That’s it! We’ll display all book cover art through the end of the month, and keep the cards for next year’s display as well.