When books are censored from the shelves of public libraries, we’re all in the dark. Banned Books Week, September 22-28, 2019, recognizes the right to access books without external censorship, and keep the light of intellectual freedom on.
In celebration of freedom of expression and ideas, the Rock Island Public Library and the Midwest Writing Center will host their 6th Annual Banned Books “Read-In” on Tuesday, September 24, at the Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street. The event starts at 5:30 pm with refreshments, and continues with live public readings from 6:00 to 7:30 pm of favorite banned or challenged works. Readers run the gamut from local librarians, educators, writers, college students, and other fans of the written word. Attendees may come to read or just listen.
Thanks to support from the Rock Island Public Library Foundation, the event also includes free drawings for Banned Books "swag" that celebrates the freedom to read and think freely.
Banned Books Week 2019 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 American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF,) records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms. The OIF tracked 347 challenges to library, school and university materials and services. Overall, 483 books were challenged or banned in 2018. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.
Since 1982, Banned Books Week has noted that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view. In addition to reading a banned or challenged book during Banned Books Week, the OIF’s Dear Banned Author campaign encourages readers to write or tweet a banned or challenged author during Banned Books Week, to share support and feelings about the what that story meant to the reader, and to encourage thoughtful discussion about the importance of maintaining access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries.
Events are free and open to the public. Attendees of the Banned Books Week Read In should be aware that some readings will include mature content.
For more news about more events at Rock Island Library locations, visit the library website, follow library social media, or call 309-732-READ.