Every library both embraces and rejects. Every library is by definition the result of choice, and necessarily limited in its scope. And every choice excludes another, the choice not made. The act of reading parallels endlessly the act of censorship.
You may have heard about the mandatory online filter being proposed in the UK. If not, you may want to find out more. And, either way, but especially if you are in the UK, you may consider checking out some of the dissent to the idea, including petition at “UK Prime Minister David Cameron: Stop the unnecessary censorship of ‘esoteric’ websites and web forums!”
“Can you imagine a world where access to spiritual information was blocked by the government? What if you stopped by an internet cafe, only to find your favorite website was banned by a public web filter, or your friend’s natural health website was blocked because it mentioned ‘spiritual healing’ techniques? A disturbing movement to censor perfectly legal spiritual information is growing (right now in the UK, but other countries are poised to jump on the bandwagon), and will continue unchecked unless people become aware of the problem and protest it. Find out more about the UK filter, and how it will affect you, below.” [via]
“Nin was a pioneer as one of the first women to ply the dirty book trade and she eventually let the works be collected and published widely under the titles Delta of Venus and Little Birds. She’s considered to be among the best writers of the female sexual experience.
Along with Miller, Nin became a counterculture hero during the unrest of the 1960’s. While Miller championed freedom of libido in his writing and fought for free of speech in his battles against censorship, Nin was perceived as the kind of strong, talented, liberated woman that the just-budding feminist movement was still trying to articulate.” [via]
This year is the 30th anniversary of ALA’s Banned Books Week, which is this week: September 30−October 6, 2012.
“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” [via]
Also, you know, check out the Hermetic Library for some transgressive and subversive material to read, including a few works that have been banned at one time or another in their own right in the past and that, no doubt, some would want banned or removed even now.
It’s that time of year again for ALA’s Banned Books Week, September 24−October 1, 2011.
“Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.” [via]
Also, you know, check out the Hermetic Library for some subversive material to read, including a few works that have been banned at one time or another in their own right.