3 Ways to celebrate free speech during Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read (even those books that express controversial ideas – library patrons should have access to all!).

As advocates of free speech, we’re pleased to support the initiative and to help generate awareness about censorship issues facing books and facing academia as well. Check out what we have planned for this week below.

Free Webinar on Disinvited Speakers and Academic Freedom

Over the past few years, the news has been replete with stories about how authors, thought leaders, and others have become disinvited or pressured to withdraw from university speaking engagements because they don’t promote prevailing ideology. What are the consequences of disallowing diverse viewpoints on campus and what can speakers, faculty, and librarians do to support intellectual freedom in academia?

Join the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, SAGE Publishing, and Index on Censorship for a webinar on speaker disinvitation on September 26 at 9am PT/noon ET. It will include perspectives from Mark Osler, a professor who was disinvited from a campus speaking engagement, Glenn Geher, a professor of psychology who helped to bring a controversial speaker to campus, and Judy Russell, a dean of libraries who addresses issues relating to controversial speakers, academic freedom, and campus safety on campus. RSVP.

192 Inspirational Videos

At the ALA Annual Conference, nearly 200 librarians were recorded either reading aloud from their favorite banned book or talking about their experiences with book challenges in the library. Watch this year’s new videos here and don’t miss our special interviews with James LaRue, Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, Nina Lindsay, President of the Association for Library Service to Children, and Steven Yates, President of the American Association of School Librarians.

Free articles on censorship issues across the globe

We’ve compiled a special selection of research articles dealing with an array of censorship issues, from banned performances of Shakespeare across centuries to access to information in South African libraries to self-publishing as a solution to censorship in China. We’ll be sharing a new article each day on SAGE Insight.

How are you celebrating Banned Books Week? Let us know at @SAGElibrarynews using #BannedBooksWeek.


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