Loading Events

« All Events

CLS Book Club // Burning the Books

October 19 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Ovenden’s recent book and research depicts the importance of freedom of speech, the importance of educational access through libraries, and the epitome of what societal dangers lurk when books and knowledge get stuck in the crosshairs. The CLS Book club has become a space for conversations about wide ranging topics, but such a book, so directly connected to a library’s mission, has never been chosen. We hope that this book will provide an opportunity to discuss banned books, freedom of speech, educational access, historical importance of librarianship, and the power that libraries hold in the 21st century and beyond.

All are welcome to join the CLS Book Club for a discussion of Richard Ovenden’s Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge, no matter your reading progress! We encourage all to attend, whether you’ve finished the book, are thinking about starting it, or couldn’t make it past the half-way point. 

CLS Book Club is FREE, in-person, and open to the public. All that is required is an RSVP.

To RSVP, fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

About the Book:
Libraries have been attacked since ancient times but have been especially threatened in the modern era, through war as well as willful neglect. Burning the Books describes the deliberate destruction of the knowledge safeguarded in libraries from Alexandria to Sarajevo, from smashed Assyrian tablets to the torching of the Library of Congress. The director of the world-famous Bodleian Libraries, Richard Ovenden, captures the political, religious, and cultural motivations behind these acts. He also shines a light on the librarians and archivists preserving history and memory, often risking their lives in the process.

More than simply repositories for knowledge, libraries support the rule of law and inspire and inform citizens. Ovenden reminds us of their social and political importance, challenging us to protect and support these essential institutions.

About the Book:
Richard Ovenden is Director of the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Balliol College. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2019, is a member of the American Philosophical Society, and serves as Treasurer of the Consortium of European Research Libraries and President of the Digital Preservation Coalition.


October 19
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Charleston Library Society
164 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401 United States
View Venue Website

RSVP now

13 Going