Friday, September 24, 2010

Banned Books Week

This year Banned Books Week is September 25th-October 2nd. Here are some of ALA's activity ideas for the week-what you can do to fight censorship, keep books available in your libraries, and promote the freedom to read!

Stay informed. If you read or hear about a challenge at your school or public library, support your librarian and free and open access to library materials. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom estimates they learn of only 20 to 25 percent of book challenges. Let us know if there is a challenge in your community. Find out what the policy is for reviewing challenged materials at your school or public library. Join the Intellectual Freedom Action News (IFACTION) e-list.

Organize your own Banned Books Week at your school, public library, or favorite bookstore.

Help spread the word about Banned Books Week by downloading the Banned Books web badges on our Free Downloads page and hosting them on your blogs and home pages. You can also create a public service announcement (see our sample PSA script for ideas).

Get involved. Go to school board meetings. Volunteer to help your local school or public library create an event that discusses the freedom to read and helps educate about censorship—maybe a First Amendment film festival, a readout, a panel discussion, an author reading or a poster contest for children illustrating the concept of free speech.

Speak out. Write letters to the editor, your public library director and your local school principal supporting the freedom to read. Talk to your neighbors and friends about why everyone should be allowed to choose for themselves and their families what they read. Encourage your governor, city council and/or mayor to proclaim "Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read" in your state or community. See our sample letter to the editor for ideas.

Exercise your rights! Check out or re-read a favorite banned book. Encourage your book group to read and discuss one of the books. Give one of your favorite books as a gift. Click the following link for a list of books banned or challenged 2009-2010 or visit the ALA's Frequently Challenged Books page.

Join the Freedom to Read Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to the legal and financial defense of intellectual freedom, especially in libraries. You can also support the cause by buying Banned Books Week posters, buttons and T-shirts online.

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