Heard of 'Banned Book Weeks' before? Well, Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982.
During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the US draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.
Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs as part of their activities. This year, for the first time, readers from around the world will be able to participate virtually in Banned Books Week, Sept. 24 – Oct.1. Check them out on youtube. Here's one on Whoopi Goldberg reading a poem by Shel Silverstein.
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