This week, visitors to the library will receive a limited edition trading card designed by a local artist as part of Banned Books Week. Each card features a different banned book with information about why the book is banned.
Library director Susan Brown began the trading card project at a library in Kansas.
“I was a little bit bored with Banned Books Week,” Brown said. “It’s a really compelling message, but every year they do posters and book displays and programs.”
Brown launched the program in Chapel Hill in 2013. Artists were asked to submit pieces inspired by a banned book or author — the top seven were made into cards.
“It really works for a town like Chapel Hill because there are a lot of great artists here, and it’s a progressive college town, so the message of intellectual freedom resonates,” she said.
The finalists were chosen by a panel including Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and members of the local arts community.
This year, the contest drew 73 entries, a two-fold increase from last year. Reference librarian Shannon Bailey said the trading cards have garnered international attention.
“We’ve been selling them in South Africa — people have been ordering last year’s (cards) — Canada and all over the world,” Bailey said.