Friday, September 22, 2017

Banned Books Week, September 24-30, 2017

To Kill a Mockingbird. A Clockwork Orange. The Holy Bible. Eleanor and Park. Lord of the Rings. Of Mice and Men. From this list of titles, you might assume I'm referring to a “Bestsellers” or “Greatest Books” list. Unfortunately, these classic and influential books are part of the most challenged books in libraries, schools, etc. These challenges are not simply a person expressing their displeasure or concern about certain material; it is an attempt to have the material banned and removed from circulation, thus affecting the entire community’s ability to access the material. Surprisingly (and unfortunately!), the American Library Association states that at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the targets of ban attempts in all types of libraries, all around the country.

So, why exactly is our library celebrating Banned Books Week? Of course we’re not celebrating banned books! We’re celebrating the freedom to read by highlighting the importance of access to all information, even those books that may contain unorthodox and unpopular themes and content. Additionally, this event also focuses attention on the harms of censorship, particularly in libraries and schools. Banned books = censorship.

What can you do to celebrate the ALA’s Banned Books Week:
* Take part in the Rebel Reader challenge on Twitter by completing items on the challenge list here: and utilizing the hashtag #RebelReader during Banned Books Week, September 24-30, 2017.
* Create a YouTube video to “Stand for the Banned Read-Out.” Instructions and submission information available here:
* Other ideas on how to get involved locally available here:

After all, could you imagine your life without these books?

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