Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More ways to defend your right to read

(From Robert Doyle and the American Library Association)

Report censorship to ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom tracks attempts to remove or restrict books across the country. By reporting censorship incidents, you can help identify trends in censorship cases and document responses and solutions to censorship. All identifying information is kept confidential. You can file a report online here.

Attend and participate in public hearings.

Write letters to public officials.

Send a letter or an op-ed article to local news organizations.

Work with community groups--professional associations, civic organization, religious groups--to spread the word about intellectual freedom and ask them to lend public support to efforts to protect the right to read in your community.

Form a coalition to oppose censorship in your community. These folks did.

Seek assistance from national groups.

And importantly, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES. Join the PTA. Join Friends of the Library groups. Participate in Banned Books Week (hey we still have a couple of buttons left).

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

-- John F. Kennedy. Remarks made on the 20th anniversary of the Voice of America at H.E.W. Auditorium, February 26, 1962

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