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Banned Books Week 2011 (September 24 – October 1)

Since the advent of Banned Books Week in 1982, more than 11,000 books have been challenged–with threat of banishment from school, library, or book store shelves–for expressing views, stories, or life histories that a group or, in many cases, one person has found personally offensive.  The offensives of these books include:

racism; pervasive vulgarity; glorification of drinking, cursing, and premarital sex; extreme moral shortcomings; drugs; objectionable covers; violence; pornography; biased portrayal of capitalism; sexual content; inappropriate parenting; weapons smuggling; gang violence; derogatory language; lacking literary value; being a holy book of Islam; homosexuality; sexual assault; language; incest; being a book about a prohibited breed of dog; smoking; being 0bscene; being trashy; being offensive.

Without the 1st Amendment and the work of librarians, book store workers, teachers,  organizations, and individuals, the 11,000+ books challenged since ‘82 might be missing from our shelves.  We would have an abridged version of  human experience.  The 1st Amendment protects your rights as a citizen and as a reader/writer/curiosity-seeker.  That protection also protects and respects the rights of fellow patrons whose views may or may not agree with your own.  Banned Books Week hopes to remind readers of their right to read and the danger that comes with censorship.

To Do’s for 2011 Banned Books Week  (September 24 – October 1, 2011)

This year marks the 1st year that readers from around the world can record themselves proudly reading a 2 minute excerpt from their favorite banned/challenged book and post the video on a dedicated YouTube channel.  For more information about “Virtual Read-Out” and how you can post a video for Banned Book Week, go here.

Check out the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2010 (out of 348) and the reasons here.

Take action!  Here is some information and ideas in pdf form for this year’s Banned Books Week.  Or here for a list of orgs.

Come to WCPL and check out a banned book!  Classics list here and contemporary list here.

2 Comments

  1. Meg says:

    I’ll be celebrating Banned Books Weeks by revisiting some favorite challenged children’s books, including Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, and of course J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

  2. LMcCauley says:

    Some of the reasons listed for banning books are really funny: “lacking in literary value” and “being a book about a prohibited breed of dog?” Wow. Great post, Cate!

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