Monday, September 23, 2013

Black and White and Read All Over: Celebrating Banned Books Week

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Imagine the world--or any list of classic literature--without these titles.  If some people had their way, however, these celebrated works of literature--and many more--would not appear in classrooms, bookstores or libraries.  For all sorts of reasons, there are many who have attempted--and continue to attempt--to suppress anything that conflicts with their own beliefs.  The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.  However well-intentioned these attempts, though, censorship is censorship.  As Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. said in Texas v. Johnson, "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

Fortunately for book lovers everywhere, there are those--including the American Library Association, libraries, librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, educators and readers of all types--who rally against this kind of suppression.  Since 1982, during Banned Books Week, these people have banded together every year in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas--even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.  Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week celebrates Americans' freedom to read while highlighting the value of free and open access to information. The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. 

Because of Banned Books Week and other rallying cries against censorship, banned and challenged books continue to be available to those who wish to read them.  What's black and white and read all over? Banned and challenged books.

To commemorate 
Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2013), pick out a frequently challenged book and use the TWU Libraries catalog or WorldCat to locate a copy; or see displays of banned and challenged books on the ground floor (in the Children's Collection) and second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus.  For assistance, please ask at the Information Desk or otherwise contact us.  

R
ead a banned or challenged book today--because you can.


~Sandy Cochran

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