National Banned Books Week 2010

29 09 2010

The American Library Association celebrates intellectual freedom for the 28th time this week. 

Sponsored by the ALA, American Booksellers Association, Association of American Publishers, American Society of Journalists and Authors, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the National Association of College Stores.  The Library of Congress endorses the annual event.

Across the country parents question schoolboards and libraries about the possible benefits or consequences of teaching or making available such “classics” as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Often the content is called into question based on use of profane language, sexual explictiness, or being seen as “inappropriate” for a particular (age) group.

The American Library Assoc. explains that to challenge a book is to desire it removed from a curriculum or restrict it’s access within a library-  something that would therefore inhibit the viewing for others, not just the complaintant. When a book is declared banned, it means the challenge has been successful.

Books are another vehicle of media.  Are controversial columnists and frank photographers going to be casualties in the near future?
The FCC, Federal Communications Commission, is a government agency established in the mid-1930s to monitor the radio spectrum. Subsequent heads of the organization, appointed by the current president, have attempted to “modernize” the FCC- essentially by expanding the scope of their protective mission to include broadband, the media, public safety and homeland security.  

Will we slip down the slope to state-controlled media?  Will newspapers, which fall into the existing “media” category, soon fall prey to those seeking censorship for “the greater good?”

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