Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week - September 26−October 3, 2009

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

September 26−October 3, 2009

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events and Ideas and Resources. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or bbw@ala.org.

Banned Books Week Video: Puppet Book Banners

To kick off Banned Books Week 2009, our new Banned Books Week PSA featuring the puppets from “Crash Pad” is out! Watch as Chad, Rustle, and Mooch misinterpret the meaning of Banned Books Week and Herb comes to the rescue. Also check it out at AL Focus.

Banned Books Week Read-Out! in Chicago, IL, on September 26

The American Library Association, the McCormick Freedom Museum, and the Newberry Library invite you to join us along with ALA President Camila Alire and frequently challenged author Chris Crutcher, in a FREE event to celebrate your freedom to read! The Banned Books Week Read-Out! will take place Saturday, September 26, from noon to 2:00 PM [...]

New Book Censorship Map Reveals National Problem

Have you ever wondered where challenges to books in the United States actually occur? A new book censorship map featured on the BannedBooksWeek.org site illustrates that censorship efforts take place all across the country. The Google map displays more than 120 book challenges—from Maine to Florida and from Long Island, New York, to San Francisco, [...]

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