Banned Books Week Spotlights Diversity in 2016

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Why are so many diverse books banned? The 2016 celebration of Banned
Books Week will examine this important question as part of its thematic
focus on diversity, the event’s national coalition announced today.
Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will
run from September 25−October 1, 2016, and will be observed in thousands
of libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across
the nation.

It is estimated that over half of all banned books are by authors of
color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities,
according to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. This year’s Banned
Books Week will celebrate literature written by diverse writers that has
been banned or challenged, as well as explore why diverse books are
being disproportionately singled out in the first place.

“It’s alarming to see so many diverse voices facing censorship,” says
Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition. “2016’s
Banned Books Week is an important moment for communities to join
together in affirming the value of diverse ideas and multiple
viewpoints. By shining a light on how these ideas are censored, we hope
to encourage opportunities to create engagement and understanding within
our communities, and to emphasize the fundamental importance of the
freedom to read.”

The Banned Books Week Coalition is a national alliance of diverse
organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual
celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage
various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week
through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the
problem of book censorship. The Coalition will be partnering with
library, reader, and author groups, including We
Need Diverse Books
™ to bring meaningful conversation to this year’s
programming.

Individuals, institutions, and other groups seeking to join in the
celebration are encouraged to visit www.bannedbooksweek.org
to learn how to become involved. BannedBooksWeek.org is
a hub for information, activities and resources to help encourage
communities to be a part of the celebration of the week. Join the
conversation using #BannedBooksWeek, and follow activities on Twitter
and Facebook.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by American
Booksellers for Free Expression
American
Library Association
American
Society of Journalists and Authors
Association
of American Publishers
, Association
of American University Presses
, Comic
Book Legal Defense Fund
, Dramatists
Legal Defense Fund,
Freedom
to Read Foundation
National
Association of College Stores
, National
Coalition Against Censorship
National
Council of Teachers of English
People
For the American Way Foundation
, PEN
American Center
, and Project
Censored
.

Contacts

Media Contacts
Marisa Bluestone
Communications
Director
Association of American Publishers
mbluestone@publishers.org
202-220-4558
or
Maggie
Jacoby
Banned Books Week Coalition Coordinator
mjacoby@gmail.com
201-788-6474