BANNED ! … Books Week

September 25−October 2, 2010

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.

  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.

For more information and to take action contact the National Coalition Against Censorship .

This entry was posted in Books, Freedom of Speech, History, Libraries, USA, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to BANNED ! … Books Week

  1. Wyman Brent says:

    As the shammes (caretaker) of the Vilnius Jewish Library in Lithuania, I know very well the hatred which can be directed not only at a people but also their literature. So many great works were lost due to those who simply hated without reason. Great numbers gave way to unreasoning and unreasonable anger just because their leaders told them to do so. If things had worked out differently, today we would not be able to read the likes of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Cynthia Ozick, Amos Oz, and Wendy Wasserstein. There are those today who would love to burn the Harry Potter series because it deals with wizardry. As if children are too stupid to understand the difference between a good story and reality. Think back to the books which have inspired you over the years and changed your life for the better. Now think about the fact that there are those out there who would love to burn each and every one of those titles.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. Just yesterday a volunteer co-worker was telling me about an attempt to ban Harry Potter books at her daughter’s school. We must be eternally vigilant against all forms of intolerance.Gut Shabbas

  2. I find it entirely ridiculous that in the 2010 books continue to be challenged for having homosexual, religious, sexual, anti-family or offensive content, AND for themes much more trivial than that.

    (This year, Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mean was banned on Canada’s BC Ferries for having an image of a mans bottom on the front!)

    Even though here in the UK we don’t really have a dedicated Banned Books Week, it is an important and relevant issue that should be highlighted year on year. So thanks!

    Top ten most challenged books of 2009: http://bit.ly/cfWJTS

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