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Banned Books Week: Censorship Leaves Us In The Dark, September 22 - 28, 2019

Keep The Light On! Read A Banned Book!

Washoe County Library System, in conjunction with the American Library Association, will celebrate Banned Books Week that runs from September 22 through September 28, 2019. The 2019 theme, “Censorship Leaves Us In The Dark. Keep the Light On!” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against the tide of censorship. 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. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week brings 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 with removal or restricted 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.

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top 11 Challenged Books of 2018. In 2018, ALA tracked nearly 350 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services, as well as 483 books that were challenged or banned. Once again, many of the challenged materials included LGBTQIA+ content, including Alex Gino’s George, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss and EG Keller, Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman and Kristyna Litten, and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.

Your words have power. Stand up to censorship and declare your literary freedoms by reading from a banned book or discussing censorship issues on camera.

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs, continuous readings of banned and challenged books. Banned authors such as Judy Blume, Stephen Chbosky and Chris Crutcher have participated. Readers can join the action by posting a video of themselves reading from a banned book or talking about censorship. Videos may be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

 

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