Why celebrate Banned Books Week?


Libraries believe in many things, not the least of which is the freedom to read –  we’re all about preventing censorship and encouraging intellectual freedom. The American Library Association says it best when they define intellectual freedom as  “the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.”

Every September since 1982 libraries have been raising awareness of the many challenges to intellectual freedom by observing Banned Books Week, when we highlight some of the books challenged or outright banned. Some are banned from an entire country, such The Da Vinci Code in Lebanon. Some are banned from a specific school or library, like the California school district which removed all copies of the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary from their schools, though this ban was later overturned. You can see where and why some books have been recently challenged by using this interactive map. Yes, there are some in Oklahoma!

To draw attention to Banned Books week, we’re giving away copies of Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which won the National Book Award in 2007 and the California Young Reader Medal in 2010. It has been challenged many times and banned by at least one school board. It’s a book about racism, bullying, and what it means to be Native American … and most of all, how to find the strength to overcome challenges.

Libraries are for everyone, and so we strive to have something for everyone.  Not every book is right for every reader, but we each have the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or watch.

Celebrate your freedom to read … and stop by to enter to win a copy of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. We’ll be drawing names daily until Friday!



1 Comment

Filed under book reviews, what's happening @ your library

One response to “Why celebrate Banned Books Week?

  1. I’ve never heard about the dictionary being banned, however it doesn’t surprise me since everyone seems to have an issue with something. I’m also highlighting banned books and choose what to read. I read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” which I thought was a great book.

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