Do you let people tell you what you can or can’t read?

18 09 2007

I certainly don’t.

The idea of “freedom to choose” is celebrated during Banned Books Week — observed during the last week of September every year. This event reminds Americans not to take democratic freedoms, specifically the freedom to read, for granted.

Ahoy! Treasure Your Freedom to Read and Get Hooked on a Banned Book“BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.” (ALA/BBW)

In other words, just because you may not like or agree with a book doesn’t mean that you have the right to keep other people from reading it. Libraries and librarians are HUGE supporters of the freedom to read, but it gets challenged all the time. Parents get offended by what their kids read in school and want those books taken off the shelf or some communities feel that certain books are trying to persuade or encourage readers to do bad things and will try and have those titles removed from schools, libraries and bookstores, for example. This is all the more reason to be informed about Intellectual Freedom and stay involved when challenges do occur. For more information, check out the American Library Association’s MySpace page!

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