For Banned Books Week (Sept. 24-Oct. 1) this year, booksellers and their customers can proclaim their support for free speech on the Internet by joining a worldwide read-out of banned and challenged books.
For many years, Banned Books Week has featured readings from challenged titles in bookstores and libraries. This year people can participate no matter where they are–in bookstores, libraries and their own homes–by posting a video of themselves reading their favorite banned book on a special YouTube channel. Readers can select any banned or challenged book, and excerpts can be up to two minutes in length. Alternatively, people who have worked to defend banned or challenged titles can describe their battles in videos of up to three minutes in length.
Booksellers will send the videos to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), which will edit them, add the names and logos of the bookstores where the filming occurred and then post them on YouTube. The videos will also be tagged to make it easy for bookstores to feature them on their websites, blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. For further information, e-mail email@example.com.
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors.
For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events and Ideas and Resources. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or firstname.lastname@example.org.