Sunday, September 24, 2006

Banned Book Week

Thank you Zazou (and belated happy birthday) for bringing this to my attention; this week it's banned book week. So in order to learn more about this, I'll post something on it each day. I myself cannot take in all info at once, and this way, you and I will have something to ponder about, one little salami slice at a time. (pattern!lol, inside joke for those who actually read my posts)

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us upreme Court Justice William O. Douglas," The One Un-American Act." Nieman Reports, vol. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1953): p. 20.

To start, let's read why 'banned book week':
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met. As the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA, 7th edition) states:

“Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate; and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of the work, and the viewpoints of both the author and receiver of information. Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication, including the Internet, becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not protected. Intellectual freedom implies a circle, and that circle is broken if either freedom of expression or access to ideas is stifled.”

Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) is asked why the week is called “Banned Books Week” instead of “Challenged Books Week,” since the majority of the books featured during the week are not banned, but “merely” challenged. There are two reasons. One, ALA does not “own” the name Banned Books Week, but is just one of several cosponsors of BBW; therefore, ALA cannot change the name without all the cosponsors agreeing to a change. Two, none want to do so, primarily because a challenge is an attempt to ban or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A successful challenge would result in materials being banned or restricted.

Although they were the targets of attempted bannings, most of the books featured during BBW were not banned, thanks to the efforts of librarians to maintain them in their collections. (See also Censorship and Challenges and Notable First Amendment Cases.) Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society
read more HERE
Check out AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS FOUNDATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION for the background of some of today's banned books.

4 Comments:

Blogger zazou said...

You're welcome and thanks!!!!!!
A great way to intro the subject.

Subversive reading! The ONLY kind I do!

11:46 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

hey girl. When I looked into the subject I thought well, it is banned book week after all! The way my time management works is that only little bits of info make its way into my memory so I thought that other people might work the same. Subversive reading. I remember reading my mother's harlequin type novelletas when I was 12-14. That's quite a while back but that was actually pretty graphic at times! It's the same with tv shows, you can rate it and say hey, not appropriate for this age or that, or..you can click off the channel. There are ways to allow others to read books that you find objectionable and truth be told, it looks like most of the banned/challenged books have to do with homosexuality or mature type language for teenagers or preteens in libraries. There is a way to compromise I believe but I'll write about that later this week,
Ingrid

12:53 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

Probably Fahrenheit 451 is toward the top of the list.

I just sent the ala link to a parenting blog called Blogging Baby. I can't guarantee they'll use it but I hope they do.

Meantime, I'm linking. Thanks.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Hey Ann, I'll check that Fahrenheit 451 to see where it stands. I need to do one of those linking features you guys have at IAB, because that would make it so much easier for anyone who'd like to link to mine (as opposed to doing the rigamarole of seperate copy and paste and linking and creating a post)..Hope your husband and your grand kids are doing well, I've been awol from your own site I have to confess!! I'll have to swing by this week,
love
Ingrid

7:48 PM  

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