Banned Books Week

Banned Books week celebrates it's 30th anniversary next week, September 30 through October 6. Sponsored by the American Library Association, this week celebrates the freedom to read along with the right to free and open access to information, both of which are protected rights under the first amendment to the U.S. constitution.  Every week books are challenged in the United States. Most challenges are done in an attempt to protect children from what someone perceives as inappropriate or offensive.

According to the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom, the top 3 reasons to challenge materials are:
1. Material is considered sexually explicit;
2. Material contains "offensive" language;
3. Material was "unsuited" to any group.

Parents challenge materials more than any other group. In 2010 the most frequent challenger was a parent and their most often cited reason for the challenge was that the material was sexually explicit. The American Library Association's Librarian Bill of Rights puts the onus on parents to track what their children are reading.

The Glencoe Public Library is sponsoring a program called Books on the Chopping Block on Sunday September 30 at 2:00pm. The City Lit Theatre Company will be reading excerpts from the top 10  most frequently challenged books of 2011. There is bound to be some discussion afterwards!  While the program is intended for adults, children grade 6 and up are most welcome.

Come see what this is about. Children want to read.  Freedom to read assures they can.

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