Banned Books Week is quickly approaching–it’s only a week and change away. This year the observed week is September 26 – October 3, 2009.
BBW has always been an event near and dear to me, as a reader, as a writer, and as a teacher–heck, even as Blogger, now. Its tagline is, Celebrating the Freedom to Read, and, really, I can’t imagine something more important.
Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate; and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of the work, and the viewpoints of both the author and receiver of information. Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication, including the Internet, becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not protected. Intellectual freedom implies a circle, and that circle is broken if either freedom of expression or access to ideas is stifled.
As an intern working on a literary magazine, I realize how critical it is that the freedom to publish exists, and appreciate it. So get ready, because next week SR will begin celebrating BBW and enjoying our freedom to continue to do what we do. And you’ll keep reading, we hope, not only because you want to, but also because you can.