Readers, that time has come again! September 21-27 is Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read put on by the ALA. Censorship continues to be a very real threat to libraries, schools, and anyone trying to access information. Take a look at these stats published by Pat LaMarche in the Huffington Post:
The Office of Intellectual Freedom recorded 307 instances of banned or challenged books in 2013. Jennifer O’Brien, Serials and Government Documents Librarian for Western Connecticut State University, cautions that this might represent a fraction of the censorship cases actually going on in the United States. O’Brien explained, “Teachers or librarians may just be self-censoring. And not because they don’t want to use the material… it’s possible that they didn’t even purchase a book or periodical because they thought it would be challenged.”
So do your part to fight censorship! Get involved by staying up to date on what is being challenged and where, maybe drafting a letter to your local newspaper, school board or library director, or contacting your local elected officials to urge them to publicize Banned Books Week. For more ways to help out, check out the ALA website.
In the meantime, come to the Mason Library to check out our awesome Banned Books Week display and exercise your freedom to read by taking one home!