Celebrate the freedom to read

This week (Sept. 26th to Oct. 3rd) is Banned Book Week, a week highlighting issues of censorship, freedom of access to information, and other related issues sponsored by the American Library Assocation, the American Bookseller’s Association, and other such folks.

I like to spend the week providing more information about access to information issues, so let’s start today with some general links and resources, and then go on from there. (If there’s something you, my readers, want me to talk about in particular, please let me know! Questions are my favorite source of ideas.)

In 2008, there were 513 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom. It’s estimated that as many as 85% of challenges go unreported to the office because they’re resolved at an early stage or a very local level. (That means there’d be about 3400 challenges in the US in 2008.)

There are also four videos from this year’s American Library Association conference linked from here with descriptions that may be of interest on freedom of information grounds.

I’ll be talking this week about the reasons for challenges – and the fact they can, indeed, be complicated. But I also believe strongly that free access to information is critical to the process of becoming an adult, and in being able to make meaningful (and, if it is not too circular, informed) decisons.

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