Woodward Library at Austin Peay State University, in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA), will sponsor Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-Oct. 1.
Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of the right to access books without censorship. In some schools, classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye" and "To Kill a Mocking Bird" may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.
The highlight of Banned Books Week at APSU will be the Banned Book Read-Out, to be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29 in the Woodward Library. APSU faculty and students will read selections from banned books and will comment on the reasons particular books have been challenged. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Since 1990, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges, including 513 in 2008. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded. The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children.
Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has advocated that while not every book is intended for every reader, each person has the right to decide for himself or herself what to read, listen to or view.
In addition to the ALA, the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, and the National Association of College Stores sponsor Banned Books Week. The Library of Congress Center for the Book endorses the observance.
For more information, call the APSU Woodward Library, 931-221-7346. -- Melony Shemberger