April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

ALA to Spotlight Banned Books Week Heroes During Virtual Read-Out

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.

As part of the celebration, individuals, libraries, and bookstores are invited to upload videos to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel, whether these are readings from their favorite challenged books, discussions of the significance of their favorite challenged books, or mentions of local book challenges happening in their towns and cities.

Since the read-out began in 2011, more than 1,500 videos have been submitted, including many by bestselling authors.  Sherman Alexie, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Khaled Hosseini are among those contributing new videos to the project this year, the ALA has announced.

And for the first time this year, Twitter parties will also help promote the message of Banned Books Week. A party will be held on Monday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon, ET, and another on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from noon to 2 p.m., ET.  Supporters are urged to tweet using #bannedbooksweek.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by ALA, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of College Stores, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center, and Project Censored.  The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress has endorsed Banned Books Week.

Are you planning to celebrate Banned Books Week in your library? Tell us about your programming!

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson (kpeterson@mediasourceinc.com) is a former News Editor ofSLJ.