Banned Books Week 2016

Posted on September 26, 2016. Filed under: Event, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , |

Banned Books Week is observed every year to both celebrate our freedom to read and to highlight censorship that still happens in the United States despite the fact that the First Amendment to the Constitution forbids it. To see a list of the most frequently challenged books in the U.S. in 2015, check out ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books list.

Here are a few books that go into more detail about book censorship in the United States as well as stories of people outside the U.S. trying to save books from being destroyed.

bbw14_resourcelist_200x300Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read
by Robert P. Doyle.

“Provides a framework for understanding censorship and the protections guaranteed to us through the first amendment. Interpretations of the uniquely American notion of freedom of expression—and our freedom to read what we choose—are supplemented by straightforward, easily accessible information that will inspire further exploration” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781593113742_p0_v1_s192x300Banned in the U.S.A.: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries
by Herbert N. Foerstel

“This expanded edition presents a thorough analysis of … book banning in schools and public libraries, offering ready reference material on major incidents, legal cases, and annotated entries on the most frequently challenged books” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780838935903_p0_v1_s192x300Intellectual Freedom Manual
compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association

This volume includes “…intellectual freedom guidelines, policies, and interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights…A new chapter, Interactivity and the Internet, and other fresh material on intellectual freedom and privacy in online social networks. An examination of intellectual freedom for disabled library patrons. Coverage of the latest USA PATRIOT Act debates and extensions. Now, like never before, libraries must stand strong as beacons of intellectual freedom for all. ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual provides the answers they need” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780816060436_p0_v1_s192x300120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature
byNicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova.

‘Tracing the censorship histories of 120 works from around the world, this title provides a summary of each work, its censorship history, and suggestions for further reading. Updates to existing entries cover new controversies regarding such classic books as ‘Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘The Canterbury Tales'” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780152054458_p0_v3_s192x300The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq
written & illustrated by Jeanette Winter

“lia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, the library where she works has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library—along with the thirty thousand books within it—will be destroyed forever. In a war-stricken country where civilians—especially women—have little power, this true story about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781476777405_p0_v3_s192x300The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race To Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts
by Joshua Hammer

“To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity.

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers. In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts.

As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

-posted by Kevin Purtell and Gretchen Schneider

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