I wanted to a link to post this article – along with the following quotation – also lifted shamelessly:
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
“The tactic of banning books is, to quote Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time. Yet it is rarely an effective method for halting the spread of information. The word censura (“censorship”) comes from the Latin verb censeo, which means to assess. Although publication took a different form prior to the printing press’s introduction to the West in 1450, there was still a great deal of textual censorship and numerous instances of book burning in the premodern Mediterranean.”
Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read any book that we want, despite the fact that written works continue to be censored and removed from libraries even today.The American Library Association (ALA), reported 311 books in 2014, and keeps a running top 10 list of books banned yearly; however, many censored books — as many as 80% — are never even reported to the ALA.
Welcome to Banned Books Week September 25 – October 1 2016. I’d explain the purpose of Banned Books Week, myself, but I don’t think I could do a better job than the American Library Association’s Office:
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Highlighting the value of free and open access to information, Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek, to publish, to read, and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.