Monday, September 27, 2010
Banning Books: An embargo on brain power
“WHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy, and reading is among our greatest freedoms” ~ Opening sentence of Banned Books Week Proclamation ~
It’s that time of year again, Banned Books Week, September 25 to October 2, 2010, when we salute the American Library Association and our First Amendment rights that celebrate the freedom to read whatever we choose.
Since 1982, this annual event has promoted public awareness for precious intellectual freedom.
Over the years, some of the greatest classics in literature have been challenged or banned by special interest groups and individuals, for being deemed “offensive,” “unsuited,” or “too explicit.”
Thank goodness, libraries, librarians, teachers and booksellers uphold our right to choose, and challenge those who (because of special interests) would seek to have books removed from libraries, classrooms or booksellers.
This past year, Stephanie H. Meyer’s “Twilight” series was challenged along with the classic, "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl," and even the "Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary" received flack along with many other surprising titles.
Robert P. Doyle, executive director of the Illinois Library Association and noted authority on the First Amendment has conveniently kept track with his “Books that Were Challenged or Banned 2009-2010,” which can be viewed by clicking on the link.
You may or may not agree with the selection of books, or the reasons for challenging or banning, and even the outcomes, but if you embrace this year’s Banned Books Week motto, “Think for yourself and let others do the same," IMHO you’ll get the point.
The humorous video below, from 2009, drives it home even more effectively. HAPPY READING!