MEREDITH — Did you know that since the year 2000, there have been 5,450 official attempts to remove books from school and public libraries across the United States? Over the past year alone, there were over 450 attempts in the U.S. to control what books and information you and your family have access to. From classics like "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Great Gatsby," to contemporary favorites like "Harry Potter" and "Captain Underpants," few titles have been immune to the effects of attempted censorship.
The Meredith Public Library's mission statement and core values lay out how the library and its staff are here "to provide fair and equal access for all... to knowledge in various media formats." And it was with similar intent that Banned Books Week was founded in 1982, when public libraries, along with educators and book sellers from all over the country, began uniting during the final week of September to mount informative displays and host free-speech events in order to raise awareness for censorship in our country, both attempted and successful. Banned Books Week serves as a reminder for all Americans that reading is not something that we should take for granted, and that censorship in any form is a dangerous act along the edge of a slippery slope.
This year, the Meredith Public Library is excited to have a variety of programs planned for Banned Books Week 2013, which takes place over the week of September 22-28.
The library will be kicking off the week by hosting a "Read-Out!" on Tuesday, September 24 from 3-4 p.m., when the public is invited to come in and read a passage from their favorite banned or challenged book. If you'd like, we'll even be equipped to record your reading, and then upload it to the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out page on Youtube.com, where your video might get posted alongside anti-censorship messages from authors like Judy Bloom, James Patterson, and Lauren Myracle.
Patrons of all ages are invited to participate in Banned Books Week events at the Meredith Public Library. More information on these and many other library events can be found on our website at Meredithlibrary.org, or by calling 279-4303.