Banned Books Week begins 9-27-2020

One of our most cherished freedoms in the United States is our freedom to read or write whatever we want. Censorship or banning of books or other media is an attempt to limit this freedom. 

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of this freedom. Celebrated annually during the last week of September by all who love books and treasure this freedom: librarians, teachers, publishers, booksellers, authors, journalists, and library patrons just to name a few. Unfortunately, the ability to not read or write what one wants is not a freedom enjoyed by everyone around the world (think North Korea). This is a freedom that should be celebrated. The freedom to read is one of the founding ideas of a Public Library. 

Why do people ban books? The banning of a book is often a fear based action with good intentions behind it. Fear that the ideas contained in a book are dangerous or inappropriate. The belief that others, often children, must be protected from those ideas for their own safety.  The belief that the content of the book is offensive or immoral, that the book might promote thoughts or ideas that are against the public good. The book may contain violence, sexuality, alternative sexuality, racism, gender nonconformity or different religious beliefs that others should not be exposed to.  

Thankfully for many people learning that someone wants to ban or restrict access to a book has the completely opposite effect.  Many people instantly want to know more about the book. Why was it banned?  What is so dangerous about this book that I must be protected from it?  What does someone else believe I should not know or experience? 

Join the Iowa City Public Library as we celebrate our freedom to read.  Check out the list of the American Library Association's Most Commonly Challenged Books in the United States.  Explore your freedom - read one today!


The American Society of Journalists and Authors created the button pictured in this post.  It is available here. Other Banned Book week swag is available from The American Library AssociationCafe Press  and Etsy. 


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