About CALS Banned Books Week

Join us for our annual celebration of Banned Books Week, during which entertaining CALS events will commemorate the battle against censorship!

Groups that resist book banning have protected classic works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Lord of the Flies. These books that address important themes often contain disturbing scenes, as they reflect realistic challenges and situations in our world. But without disturbing us, authors would not be able to convey important truths such as the violence and injustice caused by racism, or the mistreatment of the mentally ill. Banned Books Week honors freedom of choice for individuals, as well as the freedom to write on and read about important cultural topics even when those topics have the power to offend.

Spotlight: Fight Club

Fight Club posterThis year, Banned Books Week at CALS will center on Fight Club, the powerful 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The 1999 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter became wildly popular after its release on DVD, spawning cultural catch phrases such as “The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.” But what caught the public imagination about the story was its exploration of masculine identity in a world dehumanized by consumerism, where many people are trapped in low-paid, meaningless, and even unethical work in the service of corporate profit. These themes have grown increasingly relevant in the decades since the novel’s publication, and the problems identified by Palahniuk are driving many cultural and political debates in 2019.

Banned Books Week 2019 at CALS will wrap up with a screening of Fight Club on Thursday, September 26, at the Ron Robinson Theater.  Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Crazy Free Books

30 copies of Chuck Palahniuk’s book are FREE for the taking. Please contact SixBridgesBookFest@cals.org starting Sept. 4. First come, first smacked, errr… served.

Banned Books 2019 Writing Contest

Aspiring writers, take note! CALS 2019 Banned Books Week writing contest is inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. The writing contest has one $300 grand prize and one $100 honorable mention prize; winning entries will be selected based on creativity, flow, style, and originality.

Contest Rules

  1. You don’t talk about this contest.
  2. You don’t talk about this contest.
  3. Entries should be 50 to 750 words. Typed.
  4. Choose A, B, or C. Include menace, social satire, and humor.
    • A) Marla’s stream of consciousness monologue to herself, written after first night at Paper Street.
    • B) Description of a new committee to add to Assault, Arson, Mischief, and Misinformation. Include 4 to 8 committee rules for space monkeys.
    • C) Ad copy for Paper Street Soap Company recipe.
  5. One entry per Arkansas resident, 18 and older.
  6. On the first page of each submission include the author’s name, address, email, and telephone number. Please send entries to CALS Banned Books Writing Contest, 100 Rock Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. If emailing entries, please send those to SixBridgesBookFest@cals.org
  7. Entries will be accepted beginning September 1. Entries must be received by September 20.
  8. The winner and honorable mention from the 2018 Banned Books writing contest are ineligible to win.

If you prefer, download a .pdf copy of these rules.
The writing contest winners will be announced at 7 p.m at CALS Ron Robinson Theater, prior to the free screening of Fight Club.

Banned Books Week Events


Melissa Cowper-Smith: Natural Treatment, 2018–2019

On view in the Loft Gallery

This series of pigment prints on handmade paper offers a visual chronicle of Cowper-Smith’s interviews with herbalists in the Ozark and Central River Valley regions of Arkansas and their complex relationships to healing, illness, and belief. 

The Galleries at Library Square are FREE and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9-6.


Arkansas Society of Printmakers: Big Impression Prints

On view in the West Gallery

An exhibition featuring prints by members of the Arkansas Society of Printmakers (ASP). This show celebrates the impact large-scale imagery has upon the viewer—making a big impression.


The Galleries at Library Square are FREE and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9-6.


Toddler Time

Enjoy listening to stories, singing songs, and making a craft.


Carol Corning: Reflections

Opening September 13th in the Underground Gallery

Artist Carol Corning’s works seek to recreate shared memories of a simpler time when everything important seemed to happen around the kitchen table. The fused glass and textile artworks in this exhibition are reminiscent of the quilts Corning’s mother made for her family and friends,


“Pass the Biscuits!”: The King Biscuit Blues Festival and Arkansas Blues

Opening September 13 in the Concordia Gallery

Since 1986, the annual King Biscuit Blues Festival has assembled the world’s best blues artists to perform in historic downtown Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. For this exhibition, King Biscuit Blues Festival posters and other musical artifacts provide a visual timeline to tell the festival’s story and to celebrate the past,


Baby Play

Storytime with sensory play for babies ages 0-2.



Book Babies

For babies (24 months and younger) and their caregivers.  Join us for books, songs, bounces, nursery rhymes and playtime.


Little Kids in the Kitchen

Families help their little one with explorations in the kitchen.

There will be 2 sessions, the first starting at 10 am. These sessions fill up fast, so please arrive early to sign up in front of the kitchen.

Ages 2 to 6 with caregivers.


Google Photos: Preserve Your Pics

Learn to use Google Photos--a free service that allows you to organize your pictures, back them up, make basic edits, and free up space on your smartphone.

Toddler Storytime

For toddlers ages 2-3 years old and their caregivers.  Join us on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. or Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. for stories, fingerplays, action rhymes and songs.


Technology Time

Come in to get hands-on assistance with technology basics.

Microsoft Office Suites


Social Media






Peppy Preschoolers

Storytime with a craft and/or activity for preschoolers ages 3-5.



Movie Monday

Join us on each Monday for a movie and popcorn.

Sept. 9- Bernie The Dolphin (G)

Sept. 16- Mary Poppins Returns (G)

Sept. 23- Destined To Ride (G)

Sept. 30- Bark Ranger (PG)


Knitting Circle

Come share your favorite patterns, trade knitting tips, get advice and support from fellow knitters.

All levels welcome.

Every Monday at 1:00 pm excluding holidays.


Food For Good

Free meals served at the Fletcher Library every weekday from 2:30-3:30pm (excluding holidays and closings).

For children and teens; ages 18 and younger.


Food For Good

Free meals provided for children and teens; ages 18 and younger.  3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding holidays and closings).



Teen Café Olé

This teen program is a time for local students to gather together and share a cup of hot chocolate (or lemonade when the weather warms up) as well as a conversation.

Recommended for ages 12-18 years.


Snack & Play

Join us at the library Monday afternoons to hang out and play games. With a variety of games, puzzles, and even a snack; each week is kicked off with some fun.

Recommended for ages 6-11 years.


Games & Snacks

Enjoy a free meal provided by Food For Good and play fun games!


Food for Good

Free meals for kids ages 18 and under. Every Monday through Thursday, 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., except holidays.


Maker Monday

Teenagers invent, craft, and code after school!


Movie Monday


Movie Monday

Movies (rated G or PG) and popcorn every Monday at 4:00 p.m. All ages welcome.

September 9: Early Man (PG)

September 16: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG)

September 23: Missing Link (PG)

September 30: A Dog’s Journey (PG)


LEGO® Crew

Free play for ages 5-12.


Bored Games with Jeff and Emery

If you’re bored come hang out at the library! Board games, card games, role playing games, video games and more! For teens.


Safe Dates

Learn how to date safely. For teens.


Free Jam

Come to the Sound Lab and try out some of our instruments!

Ages 7 to 18.


Lab Rats Science Club

Each club meeting will include hands-on STEM focused activities.

For school age kids under 12.

This event takes place in Youth Services on the 3rd floor of the Main Library.


After-School Club for Kids

Join us for activities such as science experiments, games, art projects, technology-based activities, and more!  For kids ages 8-12 years old.


Food for Good Supper

Enjoy an afterschool supper provided by Food for Good.

This program is for kids 0 – 18 years.

From 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.