The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Library:
Banned Books Week honors and celebrates the freedom to read, oppose censorship, and highlight access to information even when it is unpopular or controversial. Banned Books Week also serves to shine a light on both historical and current attempts to ban or censor books.
According to the American Library Association (ALA), the Office of Intellectual Freedom has tracked 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022. This is the highest number of book challenges since the ALA began compiling data and is almost twice the number of challenges received in 2021 which was 729. Unfortunately, most of the attempted censorship and book challenges have been directed against books written by or about people of color, and the Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ communities.
As the push to ban books continues, it is through the concerted efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out against censorship that has allowed books to remain available in both public, academic, and school libraries. The theme for 2023’s Banned Books Week is “Let Freedom Read.” We celebrate their hard work opposing censorship and our First Amendment right to freedom of expression which includes intellectual freedom and an individual’s right to receive information on a wide range of topics even when they may be considered controversial, unpopular, or unconventional.
For more information on Banned Books Week please visit your local Mendocino County Library branch, view www.mendolibrary.org or contact the Mendocino County Cultural Services Agency at 707-234-2872.