The Freedom to Read
Join Libraries Across the Nation in Spotlighting Banned Books Week
Join the East Brunswick Public Library in spotlighting Banned Book Week from Saturday, Sept. 26, to Saturday, Oct. 3. Banned Book Week has been celebrated since 1982 with exhibits, readings and special events to remind Americans of the freedom of speech and of the press. The East Brunswick Public Library has a month-long display showing books that have been formally challenged, including such children’s and teen favorites as Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” the Harry Potter series, “Where’s Waldo?,” “The Princess Diaries,” the Goosebumps series, The Chronicles of Narnia and Winnie the Pooh. Challenged authors read like a Who’s Who of literature, including William Faulkner, Earnest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman and Ray Bradbury. Although they were the targets of attempted bannings, most of the books featured during BBW were ultimately not banned, thanks to the efforts of librarians to maintain them in their collections.
The founder of Banned Book Week, Judith Krug, died in April. Ms. Krug spent more than four decades working to preserve intellectual freedom, serving as Director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. In recent years, she fought a provision in the Patriot Act that allows federal investigators to peruse library records to determine patrons’ reading habits. The East Brunswick Public Library invites the community to read a banned book this month (see the America Library Association's Banned & Challenged Classics) in celebration of intellectual freedom and the “marriage of open books and open minds.”