Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read. It began in 1982 in response to widespread censorship of books, and since that time over 11,000 books have been challenged in communities throughout the United States.

The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom has been documenting cases of challenged and banned books since 1990, and the ALA's Library Bill of Rights strongly supports free and unfettered access to information and ideas.

An illustration of the extent of the phenomenon is the remarkable fact that of the 88 titles featured in the Library of Congress' 2012 exhibition, Books That Shaped America, 30 have been challenged or banned at one time or another.

Friday, September 6, 2013

National Book Festival 2013

The 13th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held on Saturday & Sunday, September 21-22, 2013, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The festival is free and open to the public, and will take place rain or shine.

As in prior years, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are honorary chairs for the event. More than 100 authors, illustrators, and poets will be making presentations throughout the day in the theme-based pavilions for Children, Teens & Children, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Contemporary Life and Poetry & Prose.

Schedules are available online for the Author Pavilions and the Library of Congress Pavilion. A map of the festival grounds can be downloaded here [PDF]. The Library of Congress is also sponsoring a survey about "Books that Shaped the World," which can be completed online.

The Festival website features an archive of video webcasts and audio podcasts. The 2013 poster, shown here, was designed by Suzy Lee.