Today is the official start date of Banned Books Week 2013.
Celebrating the freedom to read, the American Library Association (ALA) brings attention to the censorship of books in schools and libraries. In support for free speech, readers from across the United States and around the world will demonstrate their support by participating in a Virtual Read-Out of banned and challenged books during Banned Books Week, Sept. 22 – 28.
The Virtual Read-Out is the focus of Banned Books Week, the event features individuals reading from their favorite banned or challenged books. Individuals, universities, libraries and bookstores upload videos to the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel. Contributors are encouraged to share a reading, discuss the significance of their favorite banned book, or mention a local book challenge.
Since the read out began in 2011, more than 1,500 videos have been submitted, including many high profile authors. Sherman Alexie (“Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”), Laurie Halse Anderson (“Speak”), and Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner”) are among those contributing new videos. Bookstores and libraries across the country are already participating in the Virtual Read-Out as well. Bookmans Bookstore (Ariz.) produced the video “Bookmans Does Banned Books”.
For the first time this year, Twitter will help promote the message of Banned Books Week. A party will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25, from noon to 2 p.m., Eastern. Supporters are urged to tweet using the hashtag #bannedbooksweek. More information about the Twitter parties is available on the featured events page.