Banned Books Week 2010
Or How Censorship Affects Our Everyday Lives.
I don't have time now to tell you my epic story of censoring (but suffice it to say we will not be celebrating Banned Books Week in Clermont County) but there's only one day left in this year's Banned Books Week (my most favorite ALA holiday!), and I wanted to get my proclamation out. Now, mind you, the proclamation is set up to be delivered by a library, not an individual, so I had to do some text editing, but if I missed any bits, just pretend they make sense.
WHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy, and reading is among our greatest freedoms; and
WHEREAS, privacy is essential to the exercise of that freedom, and the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others; and
WHEREAS, the freedom to read is protected by our Constitution; and
WHEREAS some individuals, groups, and public authorities work to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries of materials reflecting the diversity of society; and
WHEREAS, both governmental intimidation and the fear of censorship cause authors who seek to avoid controversy to practice self-censorship, thus limiting our access to new ideas; and
WHEREAS, every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of American society and leaves it less able to deal with controversy and difference; and
WHEREAS, Americans still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression, and can be trusted to exercise critical judgment, to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe, and to exercise the responsibilities that accompany this freedom; and
WHEREAS, intellectual freedom is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture; and
WHEREAS, conformity limits the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend; and
WHEREAS, the American Library Association's Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year as a reminder to Americans not to take their precious freedom for granted; and
WHEREAS, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that I, Laura Settle celebrate the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, September 25-October 2, 2010, and be it further
RESOLVED, that I, Laura Settle, encourage all libraries and bookstores to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society; and be it further
RESOLVED, that I, Laura Settle encourage free people to read freely, now and forever.
Adopted by Laura C. Settle
October 1, 2010
New Richmond, Ohio