Each fall Banned Books Week rolls around and I never feel quite prepared for it. This year will be different. I've spent all weekend putting together a display and activities and, most importantly, words to have the discussion.
According to the American Library Association,
"Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular."
Every year books are challenged on the basis of gender, sex, language, racism, witchcraft, and many other topics. Libraries have a formal process for reviewing a book challenge and the American Library Association tries to document these events. Each year they publish lists of the most challenged and banned books and celebrate Banned Books Week in order to draw attention to the dangers of censorship. Libraries around the world participate in events and activities to bring awareness to these issues.
A challenge occurs when a person or organization attempts to remove or restrict materials or services based on content. A ban occurs when the outcome of the challenge process results in the removal of the challenged materials or cancellation of the challenged services, based on their content.
For more information, visit the ALA's Banned & Challenged Books website and the Banned Books Week website.