Saturday, September 26, 2009

Read A Banned Book!

It’s here – Banned Books Week, celebrated from September 26, 2009 through October. The first Banned Books Week organized by the American Library Association (ALA) was celebrated in 1982 when there was an increase in books being challenged is schools, libraries, and stores.

Censorship continues to be a serious problem in the U.S with the ALA reporting an increase in book challenges. In 2008 the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded 517 challenges, up from 420 in 2007. While most challenges are unsuccessful, they are a violation of our right to free speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment and the pursuit of intellectual freedom.

What is intellectual freedom? The freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and is the foundation of Banned Books Week. As an author I’m celebrating Banned Books Week by reading a banned book!

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