Monday, September 28, 2015

Because You Can, Read a Banned Book Today

Editor's Note: This post is reprinted from Check It Out: The TWU Libraries Blog. September 23, 2013.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Imagine the world, or any list of classic literature, without these titles. If some had their way these celebrated works of literature and many more would be missing from classroom, bookstore, and library shelves. 

For all sorts of reasons there are many who've attempted to suppress material that conflicts with their beliefs.  The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. However well intentioned, 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. Every year since 1982 these people have banded together during Banned Books Week (this year from September 27th through October 3rd) in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas--even those considered 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, choose 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 (Denton) Blagg-Huey Library's ground and second floors. For assistance, ask at the Information Desk or contact us.  

ead a banned or challenged book today.  Because you can.

~Sandy Cochran

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