Today kicks off Banned Books Week, the annual effort sponsored by the American Library Association to call attention to book challenges, bannings, and other attempts to curtail our rights as Americans to read whatever we choose. More than 11,300 books have come under fire just since the event began in 1982, with 464 challenges being brought to ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012 alone, while even more go unreported. Such challenges occur in school, public, and private libraries, classrooms, book and comic book retailers, and pretty much any place else where people can come into contact with books.
Throughout the week we’ll bring you news and information relating to the event, but how can you support the cause in the meantime? Stay informed, stay vigilant, be open to new ideas and discussion, and above all… read! Read what you like and don’t let anyone belittle it or try to take that ability away from you in any way. The freedom to read is freedom to think, speak, and act, and is among the most basic rights that our nation’s founders – and, indeed, supporters of human rights everywhere – fought to achieve.