September 30, 2012 - Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read, freedom from censorship, and the importance of the First Amendment. The ACLU began defending banned books with James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1933. One would hope that banning books is a relic of the past, but sadly it isn’t. Every year there are challenges to books in schools and libraries across the United States – even here in Oregon.   Oregon reads banned books

To help all Oregonians get into the spirit of Banned Books Week we distributed 15,000 “I read banned books” buttons to libraries and bookstores across the state, posted a list of book challenges, and enlisted the help of some of our favorite local authors! Jean Auel (The Clan of the Cave Bear) recorded a PSA on the importance of the freedom to read. Also, authors Phillip Margolin, April Henry, Vanessa Veselka, and zinester Sarah Royal will raise their voices in support of the freedom to read at our annual Banned Books Reading at Powell’s City of Books in Portland on Sunday, Oct 7 at 7:30 p.m. (FREE)  

“In Oregon, people not only enjoy the freedom of speech, assembly, and religion under the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution, but also a more broadly interpreted ‘freedom of expression’ in the state constitution. Oregonians have repeatedly said they do not want government deciding what they can read, see or hear,” said Jann Carson, associate director of the ACLU of Oregon. “Banned Books Week is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of this important freedom.”

Don't take the freedom to read for granted. Celebrate Banned Books week with the ACLU! Visit our Banned Books page for more information.