Let Freedom Read!
The Sonoma County Library observes Banned Books Week October 1-7, 2023. First established in the 1980s, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and highlights resistance to book censorship in schools and public libraries. The censorship of books by librarians or community members violates the first amendment protection of free speech and conflicts with the American Library Association Code of Ethics. Thanks to vigilant library workers, teachers, parents, students, and free speech champions, attempted book bans often fail.
The desire to protect others from inappropriate or challenging ideas, frequently the children of concerned parents, is commonly cited as the reason for a book challenge. The removal of a book isn’t an expression of protection but an attack on other people’s freedom of information. Surveys suggest that most book challenges aren’t reported and often go unnoticed by the news media. Most book challenges occur in public libraries and happen in school classrooms, school libraries, and academia. You can help promote intellectual freedom by reading banned books and reporting censorship attempts to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Check out these websites for more information and resources on Banned Books Week and censorship.