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Banned Book Week Highlights Freedom to Read

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September 24 – October 1, 2009 Edition

Banned Book Week Highlights Freedom to Read

NEW YORK, NY (AUTHORLINK NEWS, September 24, 2009)–Banned Books Week (BBW): Celebrating the Freedom to Read will be observed during the last week of September, beginning September 26. Observed annually since 1982, this American Library Association event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

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 the freedom to express oneself and the freedom to choose what opinions and viewpoints to consume are both 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.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of JoBannedFrequently challenged books of the 21st century and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century 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.

From the ALA Web Site