The American Library Association this week announced a "national day of action" in defense of libraries and the freedom to read, designating April 24, the Monday of this year's National Library Week, as Right to Read Day.
“ALA calls on readers everywhere to show our commitment to the First Amendment by doing something concrete to preserve it," ALA president Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, said in a release. “The fight against censorship is too big for one person or library or organization to take on alone. And we don’t have to. That’s why ALA created Unite Against Book Bans: to be a collective voice in defending the right to read.”
ALA officials offered ways to participate on Right to Read Day:
- Borrow a library book at risk of being banned.
- Write a letter to the editor or to an elected leader.
- Attend a meeting of local officials or library or school board.
- Stage a public event or peaceful protest in support of libraries.
- Report censorship.
- Join Unite Against Book Bans.
April 24 will also mark the first anniversary of the ALA-organized Unite Against Book Bans coalition, ALA's public-facing advocacy initiative to empower readers to fight against censorship.
Unite Against Book Bans will host an online panel entitled "Protecting Free Expression and the Right to Read," on April 24 at 7 p.m. EDT. The discussion will feature ALA president Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel, NCAC executive director Christopher Finan, and the directors of the new documentary Judy Blume Forever, Leah Wolchok and Davina Pardo. The event is free but registration is required.
The Monday of National Library Week also includes the release of ALA’s annual State of America’s Libraries report, which includes a list of the top 10 banned books of 2022. National Library Week runs from April 23-29.