Since 1982, Banned Books Week has been an annual opportunity during the last week of September for librarians and other freedom fighters around the country to celebrate banned and challenged books, shine a spotlight on censorship, and honor those heroes working for open access to materials and the right to read for all. This year’s campaign is proceeding in some unique and wonderful ways. How are you marking the occasion?
Fighting censorship and limited access to materials is an integral part of a librarian’s mission and job description. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since then. The following is a selection of SLJ’s news coverage of challenged books, interviews with oft-banned authors, and tools for showcasing censored titles during Banned Books Week, and all year.
Are you ready for Banned Books Week? The American Library Association (ALA) and readers from around the world are gearing up to demonstrate their support for free speech next week by participating in a Virtual Read-Out of their favorite banned and challenged books. The event will serve as the backdrop for the announcement of ALA’s Banned Books Week Heroes, honoring those people and groups who stand up for intellectual freedom and the right to read.
Toni Morrison’s acclaimed novel The Bluest Eye—which tackles such difficult subjects as racism, incest, and child abuse—could become the latest in a wide range of books that have been officially challenged in Alabama’s 132 school districts in recent years, if State Senator Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, has his way. The legislator is calling for its removal from school libraries in the state, a position that has so far resonated with at least one local school board member.
This week marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. We caught up by email with bestselling author Lauren Myracle, who ranked number one on the American Library Association’s top 10 most frequently challenged books in 2011 and 2009—and who also made the list in 2008 and 2007.