Freedom to Read

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Free Book Alert! From September 19-24, stop by the Circulation Department to enter to win a banned book of your own! Everyone is welcome to enter. While you are there, check out a banned book on display.

Each year, schools, libraries, booksellers, and teachers celebrate our freedom to read. For years, people have been trying to censor books, articles, and other material they deem inappropriate for public or private consumption. Banned Books Week, also known as Freedom to Read, is a movement to inspire, educate, and celebrate diverse books throughout the world.

Many of these books, while they may contain difficult content, comprise important themes, historical events, or emotions that help us grow, be more empathetic, and learn from our history. It is so important for readers to see these stories, discuss them, and learn from them. Additionally, these stories connect readers to their culture and give them access to educational content not readily available. These books often contain sexism, racism, LGBTQ content, accessibility issues, and much more.

The American Library Association (ALA) released that there were 1,597 books banned, challenged, or relocated in 2021 (ala.org). This just includes the number of reports they received. The ALA anticipates a higher number that went unreported.

Each book highlighted during Banned Books Week has been banned, challenged, or burned in cities across the United States. Challengers often want the material removed because it goes against their personal set of values. It is important to note that everyone has their own set of values and interprets content differently. The ALA stance on censorship states, “we trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe” (ala.org).

Libraries do their best to ensure all material is located appropriately based on the intended audience and encourage parents to be engaged with their children while browsing and reading library books.

The Frankfort Community Public Library believes in the freedom to read and allows each patron who enters our doors to have the ability to decide for themselves what they want to read.

So, what is your favorite banned book?

Sources:

https://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/banned/bannedbooksweek/BBW22-bythenumbers-fullpage.pdf

https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/freedomreadstatement

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