Banned Books Week September 24-October 1, 2011
“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”
Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., in Texas v. Johnson .
Every year, for one week in September, the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates the freedom to read by highlighting the past year’s challenged and banned books. During Banned Books Week, ALA hopes to bring attention to the importance of intellectual freedom and the First Amendment. For the month of September, the Francis A. Drexel Library will showcase some of the banned and challenged books on ALA’s lists.
A challenged book is described as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group” while a banned book is the removal of such materials from a collection or curriculum. (About Banned & Challenged Books) Books are most often challenged because their contents are considered sexually explicit, have offensive language, or unsuited to any age group. While the challenges may be well-meaning, demanding libraries to censor constitutionally protected speech is a violation of the First Amendment.
Please take a look at the display and feel free to check out a banned book!
For more information, please see American Library Association’s website on banned and challenged books.