Banned Books Week

Hello lovely readers! Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, which runs from September 30th to October 6th this year.  This is something that I think is still incredibly relevant and meaningful despite our current tendencies to seek information from digital resources.  When people attempt to ban books, they are trying to dictate what others are able to think, write and read, and this is a BIG problem, since freedom of expression is sort of protected by the Constitution and all.  Whether you prefer to get your information from good old-fashioned books or those newfangled e-readers or just your favorite website, you should have the freedom to decide what to read, what to think, and what to say about what you read and think.

Bottom line: Censorship=BAD. Intellectual freedom=GOOD!

Ok, I’ll step down off my soapbox now.  Meanwhile, if you happen to live in the central New York area and want to do something to participate in Banned Books Week, here are some local events:

-The Tomkins County Public Library is kicking off Banned Books week with a Freedom to Read Celebration on September 30th from 2-4 pm in the Borg Warner Room. This will feature a presentation by Ithaca’s writer in residence, human rights activist and journalist Sonali Samarasinghe.

-The Baldwinsville Public Library is hosting a Banned Book Week Freedom to Read Event on October 2nd from 12-1 pm in the Community Room. People can go just to listen, or can read aloud from a favorite banned book for 5-10 minutes.

-The Beauchamp branch of the Onondaga County Public Library is hosting a community read-out called “Black and Banned” on October 2nd from 3-6 pm. Community members are invited to read a short excerpt from a work by an African-American author that has been censored, or just go and listen.

-The Mundy Branch of the Onondaga County Public Library is hosting a read-aloud of passages from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World on October 2nd at 3:30 pm.

-The Hamilton Public Library and the Colgate University Bookstore are joining together to host a Banned Books Week Read-Out on October 2nd at 7 pm. Head to the Hamilton Public Library’s community reading room to hear readings and discussion of banned books.

Not in central NY, or just not able to make one of these events?  No worries!  You could head over to the Banned Books Week website to see what events are happening in your area, or participate in a virtual read-out instead.

What’s YOUR favorite way to celebrate Banned Books Week?  Let me know in the comments, or find out what others are doing on Twitter at #bannedbooksweek.

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