Libraries, booksellers, publishers, schools, writers’ groups, and other organizations in North America are gearing up to mark Banned Books Week 2017, which runs from September 24 to the 30th. Many bookshops and libraries have gotten a jump on the upcoming events by setting up displays of banned and censored books. On Sunday the 24th, hundreds of bookstores will also be taking part in a Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out, now in its seventh year. Shops will set aside space for visitors to record videos of themselves reading from banned books. The recordings will then be uploaded to a dedicated YouTube channel.
By focusing attention on efforts to restrict access to specific books, Banned Books Week shines a spotlight on the deleterious impact of any form of censorship. Each year BBW raises awareness about efforts to restrict or remove access to books in schools and libraries. Our efforts as booksellers, librarians, publishers, readers, and free speech activists shows ongoing support for the freedom to read and express ideas, even when those ideas maybe controversial or unpopular.