Qu'ran 11th century by LordHarris-CC licenseThe American Library Association and librarians across the country have moved the Qur’an to the top of their list for titles celebrated during their upcoming Banned Books Week, September 25 – October 2, 2010, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.

Leading the way will be librarians assembled on September 11 on the steps of the American Library Association headquarters in Chicago at 1 p.m. for a public reading from the Qur’an.

“Free people read freely,” says Barbara Jones, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “That is a fundamental principle of the American Constitution and a basic mission of public libraries. We don’t burn books, we read them.”

“The librarians of America will not stand by and let ignorance rule,” says ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “For every would-be book burner, there are thousands of readers who will speak out for the freedom to peaceably assemble and read whatever they choose.”

Also celebrating multi-culturalism and interfaith dialogue, an Oklahoma public library is hosting an exhibit of artwork inspired by Muslim tradition.

The books featured during Banned Books Week, including To Kill A Mockingbird, Twilight, Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple and Harry Potter, have been targets of attempted bannings.  While some books were banned or restricted, fortunately, in a majority of cases the proposed bans did not succeed, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.


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