Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week 2009

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year, and for 2009 it runs from September 26 to October 3. Established in 1982, this annual American Library Association (ALA) event urges citizens not to take the fundamental democratic freedom of reading for granted.

First Amendment rights protect the unhindered access to information that is essential to a free society. Banned Books Week celebrates freedom of expression, for both authors and readers, and serves as a reminder that attempts at bans, restrictions, and censorship of books are ongoing. According to the American Library Association, over 500 books were challenged in 2008 alone; for further information, visit the ALA website.

Scientific, medical & health-related books are of course no exception to controversy and have also been challenged over the years, including such notable works as Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican (1632), Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection . . . (1859), Margaret Sanger's Family Limitation (1914), and more recent titles such as Our Bodies, Ourselves (1971) by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective.

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