In May 1953, ALA delegates met with members of the American Book Publishers Council (a parent organization of the Association of American Publishers) in Rye, New York. From that conference emerged The Freedom to Read Statement that begins with the phrase, “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy,” and included seven propositions, the first being, “It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.” It was transmitted to ALA for consideration at its 1953 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, June 21–27. Continue reading from The Freedom to Read.
Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For more than 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, writers, journalists, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Continue reading from Banned and Challenged Books.