This September 25 - October 1, 2016, we’re celebrating Banned Books Week and the freedom to read. Every year, hundreds of books are either removed or challenged in schools and libraries in the United States. This annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information and aims to raise awareness about the harm that removing or restricting access to books can cause.
Groups or individuals around the world challenge books for a variety of reasons. Just check out this recent statistical breakdown on 2015’s Book Challenges, opens a new window. This map of documented cases, opens a new window from 2007-2011 by the American Library Association, opens a new window and the Kids' Right to Read Project, opens a new window is also a fascinating depiction of how close to home and widespread this issue of banning and challenging books is.
So stand up for your right to read and participate in Banned Books Week activities! You can:
- Invesitgate and learn more about books that make the frequently challenged lists, opens a new window
- Take part in a Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out, opens a new window
- Share who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read using the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek on social media
- Read a banned book in our collection, perhaps one of 2015's Book Challenges
Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time? Let us know in the comments below.