Archive for September 23rd, 2009

September 26 – October 3, 2009 is National Banned Books Week

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the first amendment, kicks off this Saturday, September 26 and runs through Saturday, October 3.  The week is designed to encourage free and open access to information by drawing attention to book banning initiatives across America.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

It is important to note that books are usually challenged/banned with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. The three most commonly cited reasons for banning books are to protect children from offensive language, sexually explicit material, or material unsuited for the targeted age group. However, many believe that the act of banning material from our libraries crosses the line into the harmful censorship of intellectual freedom.

Among the books often targeted for banning are:

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Cather in the Rye by JD Salinger
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see the ALA’s Calendar of Events and Ideas and Resources sections of their website. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220.

It is important to note that there are people on both sides of the book banning debate, and both sides have interesting viewpoints to share on the issue. Thomson-Shore, as a company, does not take a stance on either side of the argument. We merely want to make sure people are informed and know where to access information should they choose to become more involved in the debate.