We support Banned Books Week and encourage all indie bookstores to take part in this celebration of our freedom to read any type of books we choose. Participation
in this week-long celebration offers the entire book community a chance to share their support of the freedom to express ideas and seek knowledge through books, even though some of those books may be considered
unorthodox, or unfit by some. It is a great opportunity to speak out against censorship and show that we appreciate and cherish our right to decide
for ourselves what we want to read.
How Banned Books Week Came to Be
In the 80’s, certain books were banned in schools due to their content, which was labeled inappropriate for one reason or another. That was until the Island Trees School District v. Pico Supreme Court case in 1982 where this ban was overruled, and it was determined that school officials were not allowed to ban books in libraries due to their content.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) was fully on board with doing away with the censorship of books and took to their 1982 BookExpo America trade show in California to showcase the banned books. They were determined to grasp America’s attention about this serious issue. To mock the nonsense of the movement, over 500 of the banned books were stacked inside daunting metal cages and secured with padlocks at the entrance of the convention. A large sign to caution visitors that they were locked up (like wild animals) because some people considered these books to be “dangerous”.
The exhibit was such a success that the ABA joined forces with the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the National Association of College Stores, to create a new initiative called Banned Books Week.
The initiative was wildly successful! Bookstores and institutions across the country hosted read-outs, and sported window displays that received the attention of big media outlets like The New York Times and PBS, and eventually, mayors and governors issued proclamations affirming Banned Books Week.
The creation of Banned Books Week is now an annual event, celebrating the freedom to read, held the last week of September. During this designated week, it gives us all a chance to spotlight past and current attempts of censored books and our stand against it.
Celebrate Banned Books Week 2018
Banned Books Week will be held this year from September 23 through September 29. The theme for the 2018 celebration is, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” and serves as a reminder that we need to speak out against censorship in the U.S. The books that are being featured during Banned Books Week includes those that have been threatened with removal or that have been restricted in our schools and libraries. It is the hope that Banned Books Week will continue to bring national attention to the serious issue of censorship by focusing efforts across the U.S to remove or restrict access to books.
We encourage you to celebrate this important week in September because it is all about the freedom to read, which we believe is a freedom that should be appreciated, recognized, and celebrated.
To help you prepare for this celebration, Ingram is offering a 3% Indie Discount to all Ingram booksellers from August 23 - September 29, so you can stock up on the banned books for your customers who want to participate in the week-long event.
Join us in participating in Banned Books Week this September 23-29 and be sure to participate by declaring your right to read by using the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #IngramForIndies.
Want to create your very own Banned Books Week display? Visit the ABFE website.
We have tons of resources that can help you further your banned books and bookstore in general. Read the articles below for tips and tools to improve your bookstore marketing.
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