Freedom to Read: 28th Annual Read-A-Thon

Abraham Lincoln shares a book with his son Tad

Abraham Lincoln shares a book with his son Tad

This coming Friday April 17th the Haysville Community Library will sponsor its 28th Annual Read-A-Thon from 8 AM until midnight, a day long celebration of the freedom to read. All week long sign-up sheets will be available at the circulation desk in the library for 15-minute blocks of reading time. Sign up to read the book or material of your choice.

If you’d like to help us organize the Read-A-Thon, the sign-up sheet is divided into two-hour segments of 15-minute time blocks. We’re looking for book captains to sign up for these two-hour segments, volunteering their time to recruit friends to fill the 15-minute blocks within their two-hour segment.

We’ll begin our celebration at 8 AM, when Library Director Betty Cattrell reads the version of the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement included in the Haysville Community Library’s Policy Manual. For the full statement by the ALA, see The Freedom to Read Statement. Here is the more condensed version Betty will read:

1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

For further information on the freedom to read, see the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation – and don’t forget to join us in the new library for Banned Books Week 2009, from September 26th to October 3rd.

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Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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