Banned Books Week 2022
The American Library Association sponsors Banned Books Week every fall. This year, it’s even more important to acknowledge this event.
According to ALA’s site,
Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlighting current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.
In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.
The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities.*
I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the right to read and supporting the ALA. You can learn more about Banned Books Week at the link below, and donate to ALA if you are able at https://ec.ala.org/donate
*Source: "Banned Books Week (September 18-24, 2022)", American Library Association, December 11, 2012.
http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned (Accessed September 12, 2022)