In honor of Banned Books Week (Oct. 1-7), Eugene Public Library invites everyone to celebrate and rededicate ourselves to our right to read, listen to, view, write, create and otherwise experience and express whatever we choose.
This right is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. For years, many people in this country assumed that censorship was a thing of the past or at least that “it doesn’t happen here.” Each year, the American Library Association honored Banned Books Week largely as a reminder of historical events and an encouragement to remain aware of the potential threat of censorship and the importance of freedom of speech.
But in the past few years, our nation has faced a striking increase in censorship. Individuals, organizations, candidates and elected officials are requesting, demanding and sometimes legislating that public libraries, school libraries, classrooms and book stores remove or restrict access to particular titles.
In addition to addressing the harm that censorship causes, Banned Books Week celebrates the fact that over time, in the majority of cases, books have remained available precisely because people spoke out for the freedom to read. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- readers, writers, students, librarians, educators, booksellers, publishers and journalists –- in shared support of the value of free and open access to information, entertainment and inspiration.
Your library offers a large, rich and varied selection of choices to explore every day, as well as themed events at this time:
City Club of Eugene: "Civil Liberties in a Blue State: Are We Safe?"
Fri., Sept. 29, noon, Maple Room, Inn at the 5th; or livestream or watch later
Hear speakers Garrett Epps, Professor of Practice at the University of Oregon School of Law; Bethany Grace Howe of TransHealth Data Collective and TranswersLLC; and Eugene Public Library's acting director Angela Ocaña, who served as the 2023 Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the American Library Association. More information at the City Club of Eugene website.
Bring Your Own Banned Book Group
Sun., Oct. 1, 4:30 p.m., Downtown Library
Adults: get together to talk about favorite books and the freedom to read.
Banned Books Community Art Project
Anytime, Oct. 1-7, Bethel Branch
All ages: contribute to this collective display.
Tween Spotlight: Banned Books
Tues., Oct. 3, 4 p.m., Downtown Library
Ages 9-12: talk about favorite books and the freedom to read.
Live Online: LeVar Burton, Banned Books Week 2023 Honorary Chair
Wed., Oct. 4, 5 p.m. (Pacific) Instagram Live @banned_books_week
The American Library Association hosts a live conversation about fighting against censorship and for literacy, with beloved reading advocate, writer, and television and film star LeVar Burton and Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels.
Live Online: National Rally for the Right to Read
Thurs., Oct. 5, 11 a.m. (Pacific), register to join on Zoom
Join Penguin Random House, Booklist, and Unite Against Book Bans for the premiere of the video of Ibram X. Kendi’s speech from Rally for the Right to Read at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference. Introduced by Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association, this hour-long webinar will celebrate the right to read and librarians’ role in providing access for all.
Fri., Oct. 6, 4 p.m., Sheldon Branch
Ages 13-19: express yourself creatively.
To stay informed about constantly-breaking news on this topic and to get involved in protecting this essential right, visit these sites and follow their social media accounts:
Unite Against Book Bans
Banned Books Week
OIF - American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom
National Coalition Against Censorship
ACLU - Banned Books
American Library Association
EveryLibrary Banned Book Store