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Small library on an island offers books banned on the mainland

Library books
Posted at 3:45 PM, Mar 21, 2022

MATINICUS ISLAND, Maine — As more schools and libraries in the U.S. move toward banning books from their shelves, one library on an island is taking in those prohibited books.

The library is located on Matinicus Island 22 miles off the coast of Maine and serves a community of about 100 people.

Some of the books library patrons can find there include “And Tango Makes Three,” the story of two male penguins that raised a chick together, to classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood and “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck.

“And Tango Makes Three” is one of the most banned books in the country, according to the American Library Association.

Eva Murray, who helped start the Matinicus Island Library told Bangor Daily News, “We are buying banned books in order to publicly push back against the impetus to ban books. To say, ‘If you don’t want it in your library, we want it in ours.’”

The emphasis on banned books does not seem to be controversial on Matinicus, the state’s most remote and isolated community.

With only 100 year-round residents, a live-and-let-live tolerance and appreciation for differences is essential.