Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week Starts Today

Each year the American Library Association, in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and other organziations, sponsors Banned BooksWeek in order to celebrate our freedom to read and to bring awareness to the hundreds of attempts to censor or remove books from schools and libraries each year.

I have been doing displays and educational programs surrounding Banned Books Week for last ten years or so, and I am always reminded of an important lesson I learned back in library school: there is something to offend everyone; and everyone is offended by something. Religious works, children's picture books, biographies, novels, and textbooks have all been targets of censors. No library can maintain a collection without some materials that some population will find offensive. Indeed, we librarians would not be doing our jobs if we did not collect materials that explored a variety of viewpoints, however offensive some of those may seem even to us!

In honor of Banned Books Week I will post everyday through October 1 with commentary on banned books that features libraries or librarians. First up will be Harry Potter on September 25. In the meantime see my Banned Books Week websites

And watch the Read Out on the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel.Banned Books Week 2011

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