26 September 2011

Happy(?) Banned Books Week

Celebrate the freedom to read and help ALA
get the word out on Banned Books Week! 

Well, it's Monday. But, not just any, run-of-the-mill reentry into the 9-5 workweek. For on this particular Monday, we're already in the thick of Banned Books Week (24 September - 1 October 2011). Although there is reason for celebration (i.e. removal of bans, awareness of intellectual freedom, rise in weekly readership, etc.), there are still some serious calls for alarm (i.e. lack of awareness/concern/engagement [coupled with a general sense of apathy], problematic censorship around the world, decreasing readership, etc.). Perhaps take a few moments to ponder censorship, academic (and general intellectual) freedom, and associated implications for contemporary education. If we begin to censor literary materials, one can only fearfully assume that other forms of information censorship will follow. A democracy cannot function without an informed and engaged citizenry (which is also a reminder that you should vote in any upcoming elections [being an informed voter is a good idea/civic responsibility too]). Books = Freedom. Freedom = Happiness. Books = Happiness. Simple. Spread the word.

Help celebrate the awesomeness that is reading (and, by extension, happiness) by sharing your love of reading, take your kids/friends/relative/strangers on the sidewalk to a bookshop or library. It's also cool to further enrich your own BBW knowledge. Pick up a copy (perhaps at your local bookshop or library) of The Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse Five, Beloved, To Kill a Mockingbird, or another of the numerous banned/challenged books. Check out the BBW website or the BBW section of ALA for events, background information, and helpful resources. You can even support the ALA through the purchase of artful BBW tshirts, posters (see above), buttons, etc.

As the ALA so appropriately suggests, "Celebrate Banned Books Week this year by freeing your mind and reading from a banned book!" (exclamation mark is mine; it seems so much more appropriate than a mere understated [perhaps though that is the idea] period)