Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banned Books Week

What do these books have in common? There are people out there who don't think you should be allowed to read them; people who think these books are dangerous. Pornographic. Obscene. Immoral. Anti-family. These books are are only a few among the hundreds each year that are challenged and sometimes banned in schools and libraries nation wide. (Click here for an interactive google map of bans and challenges by state, 2007 -2010)

Since 1982, during the last week of September, the American Library Association has sponsored Banned Books Week to raise awareness that censorship is an ongoing threat to intellectual freedom. Banned Books Week is also a hat-tip to the librarians and teachers who are often on the front lines of battles to ban books: in a very real sense, they are the true guardians of free speech and free ideas in this country.

I'll be posting the top ten most challenged books of the year, as well as profiles of other famous banned books on our library facebook page every day next week. Friend us, and follow along. Got something to say about censorship or banned books? Comment here! You can also Tweet us, then give a shout on the Twitstream #SpeakLoudly , and if you're in our neck of the woods, visit our friends and neighbors at the Farmington Public Library. They are planning a front lobby display that will run through the week.

"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas." ~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959

See you next week. And in the meantime, remember:

Now get out of here and go read something dangerous.

book banner image via

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