Banned Books Week is This Week

And while I bitch and complain about the name “Banned Books Weekevery year [and the BBW acronym just continues to amuse] and think that “Free People Read Freely ®” is some sort of Orwellian catchphrase, there are some people doing some nifty things for BBW on the web. I’m not sure what happened to the logo thing that ALA was doing last year, I sort of liked it. The Office of Intellectual Freedom blog entry has some of the best information about how ALA is moving in to social spaces to discuss and promote BBW.

Feel free to include other projects in the comments here, this is just a few links I enjoyed and thought merited further attention.

14 Responses to “Banned Books Week is This Week”

  1. joshua m. neff Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only person who chuckles at ALA stuff promoting “BBW”! (If someone’s looking for ALA graphics for “BBW,” I recommend they put their “Safe Search” on. Unless, y’know, they dig…that kind of imagery.)

  2. Amanda Says:

    Your link to the Texas ACLU report is for the 2005-2006 school year, the tenth annual report. I am eagerly awaiting the eleventh annual report for the 2006-2007 school year which is supposed to come out this week. I used the ACLU reports from the last five years to construct a display of challenged children’s books on my floor. I manage the curriculum collection that supports the College of Education at my smaller state university here in Texas. The reasons some of the books were challenged were quite eye-opening.

    On Wednesday, our library is hosting a presentation on science textbooks and censorship.

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  4. Scott Mahler Says:

    Our library (Wicomico County Free Library) is doing a teen “Banned Books & Authors” scavenger hunt – pretty cool.

  5. Emily Lloyd Says:

    That Flickr set was a great idea! I’m having some fun with Banned Books Week over at Shelf Check, and including different links to BBW sites and activities after each strip.

    BBW strip #1: “Why Was I Banned?” with special guest Julie of the Wolves

    BBW strip #2 “Why Was I Banned?” with special guests James and the Giant Peach

    and so on. Tomorrow, strip character Dave will speak candidly about the banned book that turned him into a cannibal…

  6. Jenny Levine Says:

    JFYI, the badges (though not linked to up front) are available at

    Also, I wanted to note that BBW (heh) isn’t just a production of ALA Inc. It’s co-sponsored with several other groups, so a lot more people either planned a good joke or didn’t plan a good joke.

    The Hatcher Flickr set is great. Do you know if anyone has done this with local officials/celebrities? I think that would be another interesting angle.

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  8. Chuck0 Says:

    Once again I didn’t get around to writing a rant about how Banned Books Week is a stupid fraud perpetrated on the public by hypocritical librarians.

    Let’s see some librarians reading some porn and erotica books stocked by their library. If your library isn’t carrying this material, you are just being hypocritical with this nonsense about “banned” books. Librarians should tak a long look in a mirror before they go on about banned books.


  9. Guybrarian Says:

    The University of Washington chapter of SALA will be doing a banned books event with some interesting speakers, including myself. (
    I’ll be reading from ‘The Turner Diaries.’ Last time I pulled this stunt, about 15 years ago at a banned books reading series on campus, I was practically hissed from the stage, and the series was terminated. I’m hoping the library school students will ‘get it’ a bit more than the general undergrad, but I’ll be sure and frame my remarks fully. Nor will I be taking chances elsewhere: I’ll be sure and point out to the crowd that the copy I’m reading from is not checked out to me, but is officially ‘at the bindery’ for the day.

  10. Karen Says:

    Guybrarian, I don’t get it. Why is it not checked out to you? Do I have to be familiar with “The Turner diaries” to get it?

  11. jessamyn Says:

    The Turner Diaries is a noted contemporary racist novel. Guybrarian, don’t you trust the library to keep your information private? I hope it goes well.

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  14. Guybrarian Says:

    Yes, thanks JW, it went quite well, though I was kind of nervous. And Ellen Forney came on after me with some great juicy stuff and dirty pictures to clean up the stink I left by reading from that hideous book. (I love showing dirty pictures to librarians, btw, and will do it any chance I get, which is probably why I’m starting to catch on as a speaker at conferences…)
    And I’m not really habitually paranoid about my library or any library in particular – probably not paranoid enough, in fact. But I tell ya, when the moment of truth came at the self-check to create an electronic link – however fleeting – between myself and that notorious title, it just seemed wise not to risk the hassle. I mean, I’m probably on one or two lists already – ACLU, etc, and I really don’t need to be on THAT list. All in all it gave a nice capper for my speech, i.e. if folks don’t feel safe checking it out, it don’t much matter whether you’ve gotten or kept it on your shelf.