Friday, September 25, 2009

Banned Books Week

...." A community without a Library is a community without a soul"... by Patty Foley

Beginning September 26th through October 4th is Banned Books Week. Yes Banned Books - it is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Now you can look at any of these supporters and understand the importance of having books. There are so many freedoms we have that are wrapped up in the ability to be able to read books. We gain information, explore thoughts, and express ideas. Yet when we talk of banned books - that leaves us with not knowing and actually, in my opinion, in a more vunerable position as a society. I understand why some groups challenge books, as it is their point of view. I respect that. We do know that your point of view may not be shared with others, and that's okay. It is about having intellectual freedom.

The following is a selection of classic books that have been challenged or banned. To see the list, click here - These are some of my favorite stories ... The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger; Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis; The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett; of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Charlotte's Web by EB White; and to round out a short list - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. If you would like to read why these and others were challenged or banned - click here.

Other authors.... F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, JRR Tolkien, Norman Mailer - many of these authors appears more than once on the list.

In celebration of this week - here are two videos that speak to the point.

This one's message is quite clear - it's what we don't see/read that is what we should be afraid of.

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