Sunday marked the start of Banned Books Week 2017. This annual event, sponsored by the American Library Association and an array of other groups, is designed to increase awareness about attempts to restrict access to books (and, by extension, ideas) in America.
Sunday marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association and other groups that support the freedom to read, explore ideas and learn.
Not everyone is for that. Religious Right groups often spearhead censorship efforts seeking to remove material they deem “offensive” from public schools, libraries or even privately owned bookstores. Some ideas, it seems, are too dangerous to explore.
When I was kid, the phrase “Banned in Boston” confused me. I thought of Boston as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Surely they didn’t censor things there.
They don’t anymore, but they sure used to. About 100 years ago, Boston was in the grip of dour “vice” crusaders who used their religious beliefs to decide what books and magazines people could read and what performances they could see on stage. And it wasn’t alone.
Yesterday marked the start of the American Library Association’s annual “Banned Books Week.” In light of that, it’s a good time to celebrate the fact that ultra-conservative religious groups no longer have the power to determine what we read.
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America’s public libraries. The idea was to demonize public libraries in the same way that public schools have been successfully demonized by fundamentalists in some parts of the country.
The effort, dubbed “Family Friendly Libraries,” fell flat. Americans simply weren’t interested in allowing a bunch of far-right Christian fundamentalists to determine what books they or their children could read.
Yesterday marked the start of Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Booksellers Association and other groups.