This year, the Arkansas Literary Festival introduces Forbidden Pages, a new event focusing on censorship with creative presentations by local schools, on Wednesday, October 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s Darragh Center for Intellectual Freedom.
Classes from four different schools in Pulaski County – Parkview Arts/Sciences Magnet High School, eStem, Maumelle High School, and Pulaski Academy – will participate. In the classroom, the students will explore a book that has been banned or challenged, then present a creative performance based on the book. Alyse Eady, morning news show anchor for Today’s THV and 1st Runner-Up to Miss America 2011, will emcee.
Forbidden Pages is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. Seating is open and reservations are requested, but not required, by e-mail or at 918-3029.
The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) celebrates the freedom to read, the importance of First Amendment rights, and the power of literature with special events and displays during Banned Books Week, September 30 - October 6. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of all viewpoints, even those which may be unorthodox or unpopular, for all who wish to read and access them; and recognizes the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society. CALS's celebration of Banned Books Week is sponsored by the Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation.
Each year, many books are challenged and/or banned in communities across the U.S. The American Library Association’s (ALA) Challenge Database lists over 10,000 challenges from 1990 — 2010. In a majority of cases the books are not banned, thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group; a ban is the removal of challenged materials. Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children and youth from ideas and information that may be difficult for them to understand. Although this is a commendable motivation, the Library Bill of Rights states that, "Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents – and only parents – have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children – and only their children – to library resources."
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
Wednesday, October 3, 6:30 p.m.
Darragh Center, Main Library 100 Rock St., Little Rock, AR
E-mail: Lee Ann Blackwell, CALS PR Specialist