Celebrate Banned Books Week!

This week is the American Library Association's BANNED BOOKS WEEK. Go read something The Man says you shouldn't! ALA's site has lots of excerpts, audio and downloads from banned books. Best of all is the monster list of ways to celebrate Banned Books Week:

ASSIGN a research paper for students, such as: "Censorship and the Democratic Society"; "Banned Authors"; "The Various Forms of Censorship." Make arrangements for the local or school newspaper to print the best paper…

STAGE a mock trial or moot court. Put a banned book on trial and have students argue for and against the book. Select a jury that has not read the book. For mock trial materials and technical assistance, contact the following organizations:

1. The Constitutional Rights Foundation (601 South Kingsley Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90005; [800] 488-4CRF; Fax [213-386-0459]) has packets of mock trial material available for $4.95 each, and will send you a free catalog on request.
2. Street Law Inc. (918 16 Street, Suite 602, N.W., Washington, DC 20006-2902; [202] 293-0088; Fax [202-293-0089]) has many mock trial scenarios compiled into case packets; they are available free from their Web site http://www.streetlaw.org/mockt2.html. Note that the mock trials they have are not on censorship, but can be used as examples.
3. The Center for Civic Education (5146 Douglas Fir Road, Calabasas, CA 91302; [800] 350-4223) develops curriculum materials to teach about the Constitution in upper elementary grades, and will send a catalog of items free upon request…

INCLUDE study on banned books in your school's curriculum. Ruth Bauerle, Assistant Professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan University, planned a fall semester seminar on "Banned Books: From Judy Blume to Molly Bloom." The coursework consisted of six reading units and several individual and/or group projects. The six-week seminar began with a background lecture on laws (Constitution, court cases) governing "censorship," and case histories of book withdrawals from libraries.

ENCOURAGE your governor, city council, and/or mayor to proclaim "Banned Books Week–Celebrating the Freedom to Read" in your state or community. For example, the state of Ohio and city of St. Louis did for the purpose of "informing our citizens as to the nature and magnitude of the threat censorship poses to our First Amendment rights of freedom of

GIVE away a banned book! Parents and students from the Goochland High School in Goochland, Virginia, were offered free copies of Stephen King's Salem's Lot after the school board banned it. The bookstore, Volume I, created a front window display featuring Salem's Lot and twenty other banned books. The Richmond Times-Dispatch published a photograph of the display and interviewed the bookstore owner. In the first week, twenty-two copies were given away.


(Thanks, Robert!)