Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28, 2019: Keep the Light On

September 20, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books, journalism, libraries, writing.

We’re coming up on the annual Banned Books Week, a celebration of intellectual freedom sponsored by the American Library Association. This year’s theme is Keep the Light On.

If your local library is having an event, be supportive and take part. If not and you have other means of promoting this idea (a website or Facebook page, for instance), consider doing that.

Here’s how the whole thing started back in the 1980s, according to the ALA website:

Banned books were showcased at the 1982 American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California. At the entrance to the convention center towered large, padlocked metal cages, with some 500 challenged books stacked inside and a large overhead sign cautioning that some people considered these books dangerous.

Drawing on the success of the exhibit, ABA invited OIF Director Judith Krug to join a new initiative called Banned Books Week, along with the National Association of College Stores. The three organizations scrambled to put something together by the September show date and ended up distributing a news release and a publicity kit, hoping that with their combined membership of 50,000 people, they could continue to spark a conversation about banned books.

The initiative took off. Institutions and stores hosted read-outs, and window displays morphed into literary graveyards or mysterious collections of brown-bagged books. Major news outlets such as PBS and the New York Times covered the event, and mayors and governors issued proclamations affirming the week. Source: Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues

And here’s a good graphic that you can use in your promotion. There are others of this type on the ALA website.

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