Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

The American Library Association, (ALA) has some information on their website about Book Banning Week, which began Saturday, September 26 and continues through October 3, 2009. I suggest we consider renaming it to better focus on an important aspect. This is the land of the free…etc, so why not call this week Freedom to Read Week? Our neighbors, in Canada, celebrate Freedom to Read Week; February 21-27, 2010 will mark their 26th year.

Now, I don’t want to step on any toes, however, if we celebrate diversity and literacy, why can’t we celebrate reading? Yes, I hear those of you who want to have a dialogue about book banning; which I think is important to have. Yet, can we not agree to hold the value of reading as one of the basic blocks our children need to master if they are to succeed as productive citizens in this country? You still have a choice to check out a library book or purchase any one you like, and read what you wish to your child.

So why not come together on the issue of reading and make that our common ground? We don’t have to agree on what to read, just that we have the freedom to choose what we read. Would you consider supporting your family’s right to read, and personally refer to this week as Freedom to Read Week?

Perhaps we could open up a new avenue to dialogue on all sides. Who knows what good may come from a positive aspect on this controversial topic. No, I am not young and naïve, just hopeful that as humans we can come up to a higher level of discourse and work out our differences: okay, I am young and naïve ☺.

Information and Resources to check out:

1. American Library Association: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm

2. American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/info.html

3. Taste of Home: http://community.tasteofhome.com/forums/t/740441.aspx

4. Florida Department of State:         http://flyp.library.florida.gov/node/207

5. Canada’s Freedom to Read site Feb 21-27, 2010 http://www.freedomtoread.ca/

6. Canadian Facebook site for resources: http://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Over-Canada/Freedom-to-Read-Week/34780638445

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