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Tag: banned books

How to Support Public Libraries

In early April the American Libraries Association kicked of National Library Week by announcing the names of the 10 most challenged (as in somebody has asked the libraries to stop lending the titles) books. When the news made its made into the feeds on LinkedIn, I asked people for suggestions on how to counter the book banning efforts. Nobody replied, but undeterred, I came up with a list of my own counter-measures. These are my ideas based on things I have done in the past. If you have other suggestions, we’d like to hear them.

  1. Write a letter of support to the administrator of the local library near you and/or to the public library you frequent most often. Tell them how much you appreciate books, love reading, appreciate their work, etc.
  2. Get a card from the public library near you and use it often.
  3. Volunteer at the library.
  4. Make a monetary donation to the libraries in your area. Every dollar helps. Yes, the libraries are supported by tax dollars, but there is never enough money in the budget; donation dollars are always well spent.
  5. Buy a new copy of a book that you loved reading as a child or a child you know loved to read. Donate it to the library along with a note or letter of support. Stuck for ideas? Here’s a list of the most popular books for kids in Canada which deal with the theme of love.
  6. Buy a new copy of one or more of the banned books on the ALA list and donate it with a letter or note of support.

Of course, you can always do more than one of these things! Please feel free to suggest this post to others via social media. And, if you do any or all of these things, I would love to hear your story!

It’s Banned Book Week: Read Banned Books and Join Protests

October 1-7 is Banned Books Week. A coalition of organizations dedicated to free expression support this important effort to bring attention to attempts to ban books and repress freedom of the press.

The group includes American Booksellers for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Amnesty International USA, Association of University Presses, Authors Guild, Banned Books Week Sweden, Children’s Book Council, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Freedom to Read Foundation, GLAAD, Index on Censorship, Little Free Library, National Book Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America, People For the American Way Foundation, PFLAG, and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House.

This year LeVar Burton is the honorary chair. Burton has a long track record of advocating for books, publishing, and reading. In his statement for this year’s event he says, “Books bring us together. They teach us about the world and each other. The ability to read and access books is a fundamental right and a necessity for life-long success.”

He adds, “But books are under attack. They’re being removed from libraries and schools. Shelves have been emptied because of a small number of people and their misguided efforts toward censorship. Public advocacy campaigns like Banned Books Week are essential to helping people understand the scope of book censorship and what they can do to fight it. I’m honored to lead Banned Books Week 2023.”

Saturday, October 7, is Let Freedom Read Day, a day of action against censorship. You can take part: do at least one thing this week to defend the right to read and to speak on behalf of those who ensure access to information. And, of course, you could always buy and read or check-out and read (you have a library card, right?) one of the books the ALA reports people are challenging (asking them to remove); have a chat with a librarian or bookseller for recommendations. For information about ways to participate and resources, visit And, here’s more inspiration.

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