Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the
freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw
attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books
and hosting a variety of events. The 2014
celebration will be held September 21-27.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a
sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and
libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to
the American Library Association. There were
307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many
more go unreported.
Of course, the banning of books well precedes 1982. Some of
the most famous books in history have been banned at one time or another. A
video from the Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library highlights some of
the important books in the history of science that have been banned or
censored. Most famously, Galileo’s Dialogue
Concerning the Two Chief World Systems and Darwin’s Origin
of the Species.
You might be surprised to know, however, that one of the
most banned category of books in recent times is the comic book/ graphic novel
genre. For that reason, The Comic Book Legal
Defense Fund (CBLDF) collaborated with the national Banned Books Week
planning committee to focus this year’s celebration
of the freedom to read on comics and graphic novels. This year’s Banned
Books Week, Sept. 21 – 27, will shine a light on this still misunderstood form
of storytelling and will celebrate the value of graphic novels to readers from
all walks of life through the work performed by Banned Books Week sponsors and
individual librarians, retailers and readers from all over the world. A dedicated YouTube channel
was created for Banned Books week that will feature videos proclaiming the
virtues of the freedom to read as part of a virtual Readout.
During Banned Books week, the SB&F Editor’s blog we will be posting updates on Banned
Books Week, with a special focus on science.
10 Sep 2014 4:12 PM