We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light. Plato
Given the free flow of and ready access to misinformation and disinformation it would seem that there should be a special category for “lies in print.” And yet, the defenders of free speech who sponsor Banned Books Week, (September 24-30, 2017) would shun the concept – with great justification. They are more concerned to respect the right to read and their focus is on the reader who decides the quality of a book, aware that some books don’t deserve to be read.
Banned Books Week began in 1982 “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.” BBW continues to be sponsored by the Banned Books Week Coalition. (http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about)) It’s interesting to note that some titles on the list of banned books are perennials, while others reflect the times or the expressed outrage of a few committed censors. The BBW Coalition website is a great starting point. Among other tools the site provides free and reproducible graphics, available in multiple formats for digital or print distribution.
Another essential starting point is the American Library Association, an indispensable source for background information, including legislation related to access. The ALA tabulates and posts each year the “top ten” challenged titles: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10
The site is also the source of eye-catching graphics, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned The press kit posted on the ALA site is the key to jumpstarting a BBW campaign.
BBW on Twitter offers another approach to a complex and volatile topic https://twitter.com/BannedBooksWeek?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bannedbooksweek.org%2Fcensorship%2Fbannedbooksthatshapedamerica
The Library of Congress has mounted a wonderful exhibit entitled “Books that Shaped America”, described as books that “have had a profound effect on American life.” They also created a companion list of books from that exhibit have been banned or challenged….
http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica LC also sponsors Banned Books online site – which is blessedly sparse just now: https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=13848727
http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/ offers an abundance of promotional tools, videos, a section on Mapping Censorship and excellent graphics. A unique feature of this site is a guide to planning a Virtual Read-Out. http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/
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 ~ William O. Douglas