Thursday, September 10, 2009

Celebrate Banned Books Week with the ACLU of Wisconsin!

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation will be recognizing Banned Books Week through several events across the state. Nationally, Banned Books Week is an awareness campaign sponsored by the American Library Association which celebrates the freedom to read and the right to open, accessible libraries.

“From the Internet to our local libraries, censorship is still a threat,” said Stacy Harbaugh, Community Advocate for the ACLU of Wisconsin. “While we read about high-profile conflicts that happen in Wisconsin, the reality is that teachers, librarians and journalists work every day to keep information accessible to the public. Banned Books Week recognizes their efforts.”

The ACLU works nationally to fight censorship and protect the freedom of expression, even when free speech is unpopular. The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation recently announced that it will be representing a supper club owner in Crivitz, WI who is in a dispute with police who confiscated the flag the man was flying upside-down as a form of protest. The ACLU of Wisconsin was also involved in supporting the librarians at the public library in West Bend, WI after books with gay and lesbian characters were challenged by local residents.

Nationally, the American Civil Liberties Union has joined a coalition of authors, publishers and groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to urge a federal judge to reject a proposed settlement in a lawsuit over Google Book Search. The ACLU is concerned that the settlement will leave open the possibility that the browsing and readership history of digitized books on Google Book Search will not have privacy protections.

Please join the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation for these Banned Books Week events:

ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation Banned Books Week Kick-off and Fundraiser
Tuesday, September 15, 7:00—8:30 p.m.
Goodman Community Center149 Waubesa Street Madison, WI 53704

Featuring special guests Michael Tyree, Director, West Bend Community Memorial Library and Maria Hanrahan, West Bend community organizer. These brave book defenders will share their story of a book challenge this year in West Bend, WI. The professionalism of the library staff and the efforts of community activists were crucial in defending a diverse library collection that is free and accessible to all community patrons. A $25, tax-deductible donation is encouraged.

Banned Books Week Panel, moderated by Jim Fleming, Wisconsin Public Radio host
Thursday, October 1, 6:00—7:30 p.m.
School of Library and Information Science—4th floor commons
Helen C. White Hall—600 North Park Street Madison, WI 53706

Featuring special guests Bob Bocher, Library Technology Consultant, WI Dept. of Public Instruction and two local librarians with experience working with public and youth library collections. The panel will discuss current issues in censorship including book challenges, net neutrality and free access to the Internet, and youth free speech rights. The event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the School of Library and Information Studies at the UW-Madison.

Banned Books Talk presented by ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, Woodland Pattern Book Center, and Wisconsin Center for the Book
Wednesday, October 14, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Woodland Pattern Book Center720 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Join the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation and Woodland Pattern Book Center for a celebration of beloved banned books. We’ll talk about censorship attempts in and around South East Wisconsin. There will be a short presentation and then we’ll read excerpts from the “hot” books. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m.

For more info on the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation’s work to protect free speech, read the news on our website. Read more about the national Banned Books Week on the American Library Association website.