There were 460 incidents of people attempting to ban books from libraries last year, according to the American Library Association, including a recent one where a group of parents succeeded in banning an anthology of writings by gay youth from the library of a New Jersey high school and from the local public library. With the 28th annual Banned Book Weeks coming up September 25 to October 2, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression is asking booksellers to join the hundreds of bookstores and libraries that already have publicized such incidents.
ABFFE president Chris Finan said it is important to bring awareness to the banned books issue and that “Banned Books Week plays a critical role in mobilizing people to fight censorship.” ABFFE has posted a Banned Books Week handbook on its Web site describing promotional activities, including the creation of displays and events like readings from banned books. The handbook also includes posters that can be downloaded and reproduced.
For a limited time, ABFFE is also discounting t-shirts in its fREADom line, which also includes buttons, bumper stickers, and bookmarks.
Booksellers can promote their Banned Books Week activities on a Web site created by ABFFE and ALA, www.bannedbooksweek.org. The site has a state-by-state list of participating bookstores and libraries.