Banned Books Week Read-Outs and More

October 12, 2011

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Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg and coauthors Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, who wrote one the most-challenged books in the United States in the 21st century, And Tango Makes Three, were part of the Virtual Read-Out of banned and challenged books that took place on YouTube as part of the 30th annual Banned Books Week (BBW).  This year's observance of the only national celebration of the freedom to read took place September 24–October 1. Visit bannedbooksweek.org/videos to see their readings as well as many other author participants.

In addition to readings, libraries nationwide hosted a variety of other events and erected displays.

BBW is sponsored by ALA, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Association of College Stores, the National Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Projected Censored.

Debbie Hatz, Coralville (Iowa) Public Library board member, poses in the “Live Humans Reading” display that drew 103 volunteer readers for a total of 64 hours.
Staff members at Brownsburg (Ind.) Public Library, some wearing special T-shirts, read banned books in a makeshift jail.
Patrons match passages from banned books with their respective covers at Bemis Public Library in Littleton, Colorado. More than 30 book covers were on display.
Books are under imaginary lock-and-key in a display at Columbia College Library in Chicago.
Teen Advisory Group member Danijel Divkovic reads a banned book in the display area at Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover, Pennsylvania.
ALA’s Headquarters Library in Chicago creates a display for staffers to select from for the in-house Virtual Read-Out.
Jefferson-Madison Regional Library staff members Zanne Macdonald (left) and Krista Farrell pose next to a mural drawn by Sam Welty on the Free Speech Wall along Charlotteville,Virginia’s pedestrian mall. The library partnered with the Thomas Jefferson Center for Free Expression for a series of BBW events funded by an ALA Judith Krug Memorial Fund grant.
Iowa City (Iowa) Public Library uses theme posters for its circular display.
A youth services display at Arlington (Va. ) Public Library conveys a message to patrons.
Reading picks in honor of the week-long BBW observance are on display at Lake Villa (Ill.) Public Library.