Coming soon, from the American Library Association:
Banned Books Week
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 27–October 4, 2008
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).
BBW 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. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.
and because I mentioned in an earlier post the fact that Sarah Palin had at some point attempted to remove some books from the library in the town where she was mayor ... I want to correct and/or amend that. This is from the CBS news website:
The McCain-Palin team is continuing its pushback campaign against stories about VP nominee Sarah Palin that have taken on a life of their own on the Internet.On Monday, they sent reporters a memo in response to reports that the Wasilla, Alaska resident had tried to ban a lengthy list of books when she was mayor of that town.
"This is categorically false. The fact is that as Mayor, Palin never asked anyone to ban a book and not one book was ever banned, period," McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said, directing reporters to campaign research "debunking this smear."
While the purported list is bogus, we do know that something happened with regards to Palin and at least a question about book banning.
Timereported last week, for example, that Palin asked the Wasilla librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, about the process for banning books. Baker was reportedly "aghast" at the question. Soon after taking office, Palin, according to a New York Timesreport, fired Baker, and news reports from the time indicate that Palin thought Baker hadn't done enough to give her "full support" to the mayor.
Palin reversed course on Baker's dismissal after a local outcry, and later said the discussions about banning books were "rhetorical."
I can understand why the McCain campaign is pushing back against a bogus list that's making the rounds. Deceptive claims are deceptive claims, no matter who the target is. But as long as McCain aides are talking about this issue, maybe they can answer a couple of additional questions, such as, "Why did Palin try to fire the librarian in the first place?" Or how about, "Why did Palin broach the subject of book-banning if she had no intention of trying to ban books?"