Libraries are not immune from the pervasiveness of censorship.
In 1976, Steven Pico was one of five high school students who sued their school district for banning 11 books in their schools. The students claimed this violated their 1st Amendment rights. After six years, the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case ruled that a school board should not be able to remove books because they did not approve of the books’ contents.
Inspired by this court ruling, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) displayed about 500 challenged books in padlocked metal cages at the 1982 BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California.
After the success of this display, ABA, the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the National Association of College Stores launched The Banned Books Week initiative to promote awareness and engagement. The initiative took off and here we are today, celebrating Banned Books Week during the last week of September!
Join the many libraries across the country honoring intellectual freedom and your constitutional right to the written word. Please visit the Leeward Library’s displays on the lower and upper levels to bear witness to a selection of books that people around the world have requested removal from libraries. These books have been bound and labeled with a word, phrase, or quote showcasing reasons why they were challenged.
Have you read any of these books?
What do you think about the reasons why they were challenged?
How would you feel if your library banned a particular title?
We welcome you to explore your freedom to read and “FREE” a banned book by borrowing any of these titles. Books on display may be taken to the Circulation Desk and freed from their binding. Please see the Circulation Desk if interested in freeing a book from the enclosed display case at the library’s main entrance.
If you would like more information about Banned Books Week, protecting your freedom to read, and censorship, go to ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned [New Window] and bannedbooksweek.org [New Window].
We DARE you to read a banned book!
~ Banned Books Week, September 24-28 ~