Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

This week (September 24 - October 1) is Banned Books Week. Here is what you need to know:

What is Banned Books Week?

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.

Why should I care?

Because this week is all about celebrating your freedom to read! 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. Librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country 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.

Wow, this is an important week! What can I do to get involved?

Join the Virtual Read-out! The centerpiece of this year’s Banned Books Week celebration (Sept. 24-Oct. 1) is a virtual read-out. Everyone is invited to create a video of themselves reading from their favorite banned or challenged book and upload it to a special Banned Books Week channel. Videos of challenged authors and other celebrities will be posted on both YouTube and our Videos page in coming days. More information about the read-out is available here.

What are some examples of banned or challenged books that I would know?

The Hunger Games, Twilight, and the Harry Potter series, just to name a few. Check out this infographic for the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2010.

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