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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sept. 29 Starts Banned Books Week: Please Read One To Piss Off A Censor

TOLEDO (TDB) -- Pushing back against the thought police and would-be censors, free thinkers in Ohio are going to celebrate the First Amendment at the University of Toledo by reading banned books aloud on campus later this week. During the vigil, organizers intend to distribute banned books as free door prizes.

UT communications prof Paulette D. Kilmer said:

"We call it a vigil because that name reminds us of our history and our mission to bear witness and, therein, protect our intellectual freedom."

The event marks Banned Books Week, which is set aside Sept. 29-Oct. 6 this year by the American Library Association. The goal: Make a statement for intellectual freedom by reading something that somebody has tried to ban. A YouTUBE video has just been released by the ALA about the 546 attempts in the past year to remove books from libraries, schools, reading lists and bookstores.

The Daily Bellwether planned to dig up a copy of Catcher In The Rye, which has long been deemed offensive to certain segments of the population. But it doesn't seem to be on the most recent list of literary works that rile up the bluenoses. The Catcher has been dropped from the banned books list. How can it be that Holden Caulfield has gone mainstream?


  1. They should come down to SW Ohio and force Simon Leis to listen to a reading of the 1st Amendment. That would really drive him (even more) insane.

  2. It seems these "bans" weren't too successful, if the books are available to be read. Sounds like some "activists" at the ALA trying to get in the paper. There must be another operating levy or tax cut coming up.

    I thought we wanted parents to get involved, be concerned about what schools teach, take an interest and be responsible for their child's education. Apparently, that's only true if the "experts" at the ALA say it's OK. Apparently, in the ALA's opinion, everything ever published is appropriate for children.

    If you look at their list of Top 100, I wouldn't want some of those books available for children. And just because a couple of nutjobs want this or that book "banned", it's obvious that their success rate is pretty low or at least inconsequential as all of these books are available to all, if desired.

    I can't believe you guys are so gullible as to give these types of stunts any credibility. This is as insulting as giving publicity to the "book banners." Think through an the issue, please.

  3. Hi Joe C. --

    I'll think through the issue. Ok, I have. Free speech is precious.

  4. Banned Books Week trivializes real assaults on freedom of expression. All of the books are available without government approval.
    If the university wishes to highlight the danger of repressing ideas then let it highlight the tragedies of those who dared to insult Islam (Theo Van Gogh, Salman Rushdie, the Danish cartoonists)