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 August 20, 2002

What, Me Censor?
MAD magazine editor coming to PLCMC
Part of library's "Freedom to Read" week

CHARLOTTE, NC - Aug. 19, 2002 - Get ready for an offbeat and fiery defense of First Amendment rights when the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County brings MAD Magazine's Joe Raiola to Charlotte on Sept. 28.

Raiola, senior editor of MAD, will make his "The Joy of Censorship" presentation as part of "Freedom to Read Week" when PLCMC joins libraries across America to celebrate the freedom to express unorthodox or unpopular ideas, and highlight the danger of restraining the availability of information in a free society. Raiola will take a look at several important First Amendment issues, including banned books, music and film; regulation of the Internet; and the true meaning of obscenity. He also traces the colorful history of MAD Magazine, from renegade publisher William Gaines' historic showdown with the U.S. Senate in the 1950s to MAD's emergence as a cultural institution and one of the world's largest-selling humor magazines. Selected readings, a question-and-answer period and reception will be part of the event. "The Joy of Censorship" with Joe Raiola will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2002, 7:30-9 p.m., at Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., Charlotte.

Tickets are free but must be ordered by calling (704) 336-2074 and picked up at a PLCMC branch.

For more than a century, PLCMC has provided essential community service and outreach to the citizens of the Charlotte area. Today it is one of the premiere libraries in the country - named "Library of the Year" and "Library of the Future" in the 1990s - with 23 branches, 1.6 million volumes, 28,000 videos and DVDs and compact disks. The library also sponsors a variety of community-based programs - from computer- and Internet-education workshops to the award-winning Novello Festival of Reading, a celebration that accentuates the fun of reading and learning.

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