The Banned Books of Our Times

Apologies that this did not get out before the event. [Publisher’s note]

Banned in 2009 or 2010?  You’re in good company – with the likes of Maya Angelou, Marc Brown, Barbara Ehrenreich and Ernest Hemingway – and then again there’s Adolf Hitler.  They are a few score others are on this year’s list of Books Challenged or Banned in 2009-2010, compiled by Robert P. Doyle for the American Library Association.  It’s the lynchpin of Banned Books Week sponsored by ALA in collaboration with a half dozen organizations representing booksellers, publishers, authors and readers.  The aborted burning of the Qur-an has put a unique spin on this year’s recognition.

Some of the BBW messages are overt – exhibits, editorials, banners and badges.  Other are more subtle reminders that defending the rights and privileges of freedom deserves focused attention along with constant vigilance.  One blogger expresses the range of rights and privileges thus:

We enjoy the freedom to read.

We enjoy the freedom of expression.

We enjoy the freedom of the press.

We enjoy freedom of speech.

We enjoy freedom to study, research and publish.

We enjoy freedom to worship as we like

We enjoy the freedom to assemble and influence each other.

We enjoy the freedom to choose our leaders.

We have the right be schools, be well, be without fear, and more.

Joel Kramer, Editor and CEO of MinnPost, is featured speaker at one of Minnesota’s major BBW activities.  The Annual Dinner and Program sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for Intellectual Freedom is Wednesday, September 22, 5:30 p.m. at the AAUW Clubhouse, 990 Summit Avenue in St. Paul.  For details contact Michael O’Sullivan (952 423 3492 or osulli14@frontiernet.net).

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