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08.09.10

Library Card Sign-Up Month

One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is a library card, a ticket to a world of reading and discovery.  And it’s free.  The only cost involved is the time it takes to go to your local library and sign the application form.  September is Library Card Sign-Up Month when libraries promote registration for cards, but anytime is a good time to visit your local library and enjoy the wonderful world of reading.  And listening.  And viewing.  Books, audio books, DVDs . . . your library has it all!

Amnesty Month
September is an especially good time to visit Tazewell County Public Library and return those overdue books fine free.  The Library is offering amnesty to anyone who returns overdue materials in good condition along with a can of food or package of school supplies for donation to a food pantry.  No questions asked.  All fines eliminated.

Banned Books Week
This year, libraries celebrate the freedom to read by recognizing Banned Books Week September 27 – October 4. 
Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451 anticipated a futuristic world in which reading would be closely supervised, and books forbidden, by the state.  The title, which is the temperature at which book paper burns, reflects not just a future time but times past and present.  The Nazis held public book burnings in World War II Germany.
One of our most cherished freedoms in the United States is the freedom to read.  Reading widely offers the opportunity to judge for oneself what to think and how to view the world.  When that freedom is limited, and people lose that opportunity, they lose a vital part of what America has always valued as a nation. 
This year will mark the 27th annual celebration of the freedom to read, as thousands of libraries and bookstores nationwide host exhibits, readings and special events.
Each year, the Office of Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association receives hundreds of reports on books and other materials that were challenged by people who asked that they be removed from school or library shelves. There were 420 known attempts to remove books in 2007, and more than 9, 600 attempts since the ALA’s OIF began to electronically compile and publish information on book challenges in 1990. Unfortunately, it is believed that for every challenge or banning reported to OIF, there are four to five incidents not reported.
“Banned Books Week is an opportunity for the ALA to educate librarians and the general public about the importance of intellectual freedom,” said (ALA) President Jim Rettig. “Individuals must have the freedom to choose what materials are suitable for themselves and their families.”
 “We must remain vigilant to assure that would-be censors do not threaten the very basis of our democracy – the freedom to choose,” said Judith F. Krug, director, OIF. “Since our society is so diverse, libraries and bookstores have a responsibility to provide materials that reflect the interests of all of their patrons.”

Among the most challenged books of 2007 are The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, 
Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes, The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Color Purple by Alice Walker,
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
 
Read a banned book and decide for yourself.  Do you want someone else deciding for you what you may or may not read?

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