Did you know that there were 420 formal challenges to books in school and public libraries last year? And that was only the ones that were reported. The actual number was probably 4-5 times higher. Come celebrate intellectual freedom by attending the Briggs Library Banned Books Reading Event on Tuesday, September 30 in the library McGinnis Room from 7:30 pm-9:00 pm.
Each year since 1982 the American Library Association has sponsored Banned Books Week in an effort to educate the public about the freedom to read. Between 1990 and 2000 there were 6,364 challenges reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, most of them from school and public libraries. Reasons vary for why an item is challenged in a attempt to be banned but the top ones include sexually explicit material, offensive language, unsuited to age group, occult themes, violence, homosexuality and the promotion of a religious viewpoint. Challenges are often motivated by a desire to protect children from inappropriate material. ALA maintains, however, "that parents--and only parents--have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children--and only their children--to library resources."
Don't take first amendment rights and reading choice for granted. Make your own voice heard by attending the Banned Books Reading Event. Hear excerpts from banned books through the years. It's all part of the ALA's annual Banned Books Week Sept. 27-Oct. 4. If you would like to be a reader please contact Kate Novotny by email. The event is sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta and Briggs Library.