Books: Rally for Banned Books

Tomorrow, October 1st, there will be a free event on the Main Library steps from noon until 1:30: the Rally for Banned Books. The event features local authors reading from their favorite banned books. I guess it’s a kind of warm up for Litquake, which starts Friday.

Readers tomorrow will include Tamim Ansary, Justin Chin, Jane Ganahl, Leah Garchik, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Jewelle Gomez, Kemble Scott, April Sinclair (April Sinclair!), Kevin Smokler, K.M. Soehnlein, and it will be moderated by Jack Hirschman. What a lineup!

It turns out that the last week of September is Banned Book Week. (Amusingly, the press release from the library refers to it once as BBW; somebody should tell them the acronym is spoken for.) Observance of Banned Book Week, which is sponsored by every national book- and library-related organization, is meant to “remind Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom [the freedom to read] for granted,” according to the press release. It goes on: “Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. Intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.”

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