Library to show movie classics; Series will also feature discussion

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Austin Public Library is showcasing the classics.

At 1 p.m., every third Thursday of the month, organizers at the library plan to bring an old classic film back to life. The program, which is geared more toward adults but welcomes teens and children, will show and discuss classic films.

“We were just kind of thinking about a way to tie some different films in,” Adult Services Librarian Courtney Wyant said. “I thought, why don’t we start doing some filming at the library?”

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The first film, set for Thursday, will be “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Wyant hopes this will be a fun way to let people check out items at the library they might not otherwise know about. Wyant also hopes to get people excited about the classic films, and bring attention to other forms of the stories.

“If you enjoyed the film, possibly you could pick up the book,” Wyant said. “I’m hoping that it builds literacy and [is] just a fun event that adults can come to.”

She added, “This is kind of a nice way to have a discussion as well.”

Wyant is hoping for a good turnout to the first event.

“We usually have pretty good turnout for things at the library,” she said. “I’ve heard some good things people are getting excited about.”

Although the first days for events don’t always have the best turnout, she said word usually spreads and people start to show up the next time. Wyant wants people to get excited about the classics again, and she hopes this series will make that happen.

“I think just sort of being able to view some classic films [people] haven’t been able to see, or see ones they’re kind of nostalgic about that they’ve seen before,” Wyant said.

Wyant said if they can’t put the class on for the third Thursday some months, they will make sure it is on one Thursday at 1 p.m. that month.

“I’m hoping to just try to make it a regular thing every month,” she said. “We’re always trying something a little new.”

Something organizers will look into is to have the films connected to what is going on in the library during that month.

“To Kill A Mockingbird” was chosen because Banned Books week is next week. It’s an annual week in September observed by libraries nationally to recognize books that have been banned over the years. “To Kill A Mockingbird” was at one point a banned book.

The library has recognized the week annually by putting up displays and such, but this year they are bringing in a guest speaker on Sept. 22. Dr. Leslie Crabtree from North Central University will come to discuss the cultural phenomenon of banned books throughout history.

“She knows a lot about banned books; it’s one of her specific things she can lecture about,” Wyant said.

After getting a lot of questions about the displays over the years, Wyant was excited to bring in Crabtree. Some previously banned books may come as a surprise. “Winnie the Pooh” was once banned and still commonly is. In the U.S., some religious groups have called the talking animals ungodly, and some Muslims have found the Piglet character to be offensive.

“[The goal is] that people can kind of learn about the history or why certain books would have been protested in the past,” Wyant said. “When you look at it further on, you think, why would ‘Winnie the Pooh’ be a banned book?”

Wyant added that organizers hope the session will help answer a lot of questions people have about banned books.

Banned books

Top 10 of the American Library Associations list of the 100 most banned books from 2000-2009.

1. “Harry Potter” (series) by J.K. Rowling

2. “Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

3. “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier

4. “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

5. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

6. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

7. Scary Stories (series)” by Alvin Schwartz

8. “His Dark Materials” (series) by Philip Pullman

9. “ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r” (series) by Lauren Myracle

10. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

—See the full list and more at