AOF Activities & Events
September 23 marks Banned Books Week, a celebration of the Freedom to Read, established by the American Library Association in 1981 in response to growing attempts to ban books in public libraries across the country. First observed in 1982, we celebrate it each year during the last week of September, to remind our fellow citizens not to take for granted their freedom to read the written word.
Every year bookstores and libraries across the United States celebrate Banned Books Week with displays of and readings from books that have been banned or threatened throughout history. Such works range from the Bible and Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason to Shakespeare's Hamlet, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series, and has included books on atheism, science, tolerance, social issues, love and sex, and philosophy. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Aristophanes, Margaret Sanger, Mary Shelley, Ambrose Bierce, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Mark Twain and John Locke were all victims of censorship during their lifetimes and still face censorship in some sections of the world today.
Banned Books Week stands as a reminder that freedom is precious, that without constant diligence and defiance we can loose it, even in the United States. If anything this should motivate freethinkers everywhere to read banned books, discuss them, and protect the rights of all Americans to read what they want, when they want, in libraries across the country.
Banned Books Week sponsors include the ...
American Booksellers Association,
American Booksellers Foundation of Free Expression,
American Library Association (ALA),
Association of American Publishers,
American Society of Journalists and Authors, and
National Association of College Stores.
It is endorsed by the Library of Congress Center for the Book.