"Having the freedom to read and the freedom to choose is one of the best gifts my mom ever gave me."
- April Qu, The Power of Reading (2016), TEDxYouth
By: Sydney Spangler
Books and the act of reading allow us to enrich our lives, shape our dreams, and travel to infinite worlds. Through the pages of a book, we can visit places we've never seen and meet people whose experiences are different from our own. This is why libraries and their users and readers nationwide are celebrating and exercising their freedom to read during Banned Books Week (Sept. 26 - Oct. 2, 2021).
Banned Books Week is an annual event that spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even ideas that contain uncomfortable truths. This year's event aims to draw attention to the power of stories to unify us and the divisiveness of censorship.
One way you and your child can celebrate Banned Books Week is by writing a letter, tweet, or email to banned or challenged authors. The Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign is hosted by the American Library Association and raises awareness of censorship while supporting the power of words and those who write them. You can find banned and challenged authors' publisher mailing addresses, email addresses, and Twitter handles on this printable Google sheet.
You can also visit your local library and check out whatever you want to read! Here are some libraries you can visit:
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi's Library and Resource Center, located on the corner of Midway Street and Ocean Drive, is offering cool swag for anyone who checks out a book that has been banned from a library in the past or challenged to be removed from the shelf.
The Ben F. McDonald Public Library, located at 4044 Greenwood Dr., will have family-friendly events to encourage your little reader.
Family Storytime at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 27
Music & Motion at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28
Bilingual Storytime at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29
The Keach Family Library, located at 1000 Terry SHamise Blvd, will have an outdoor storytime with Mr. Kippy at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28
For more information about Banned Books Week and virtual celebrations, visit ala.org/bbooks.