Contact: Larra Clark
Media Relations Manager
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2006
Banned Books Week expands online offerings
for 25th anniversary
ALA collaborates with Google Book Search, MAGPI
(CHICAGO) In honor of 25 years of fighting to keep books freely accessible in U.S. schools and libraries, the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has expanded the range of resources available to celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 23-30.
For the first time, Americans can log onto the Banned Books Week Web site (www.ala.org/bbooks) and vote for their favorite challenged book - from "Captain Underpants" to "Of Mice and Men." Organized by age group, the books all have faced expulsion from U.S. schools and libraries in the last 25 years. Votes will be tallied and announced Monday, October 2.
Google Book Search (http://books.google.com) and MAGPI have collaborated with the ALA to offer a new book search site and a virtual panel discussion with high school students around the country.
Starting today, readers can visit http://www.google.com/bannedbooks, a new site created by Google Book Search that lets users explore 42 of the banned or challenged books that appear on the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century. Interested readers can search or see basic information about these books and can then check for them in their local library or buy them online.
"We're happy to join the ALA and libraries and bookstores across the country in supporting Banned Books Week," said Adam M. Smith, Group Business Product Manager for Google Book Search. "Every year, there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from schools and libraries, including some of the greatest novels of the 20th century. With Google Book Search, users can explore some of classics that have been challenged, along with many, many others."
ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Kent Oliver also will participate in a virtual panel discussion with authors Chris Crutcher ("Whale Talk"), Sonia Sones ("What My Mother Doesn't Know) and 17 high schools, colleges and universities on Monday, September 25. Participants will hear about Crutcher's and Sones' experiences as frequently challenged authors, learn more about the history of book banning in the United States and examine contemporary issues in intellectual freedom and access to information.
While only 17 schools with Internet2 will be able to interactively participate, all schools and libraries can watch the discussion via the live Webstream at 10 a.m. EDT. Log on at http://www.magpi.net/programs/bannedbooks.html#webstream. The virtual panel discussion is sponsored by MAGPI at the University of Pennsylvania and utilizes Internet2. Additional support is provided by the Ohio State University, University of California at Los Angeles and Educational Service District 101 in Spokane, Wash.
"I am so pleased with the support we have received from MAGPI and Google Book Search," Oliver said. "With their assistance, we are able to offer more ways to explore and celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week. I hope readers of all ages will join us."
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ALA, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Library of Congress Center for the Book.
For more programming ideas and opportunities, please visit http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/actionguide/actionguide.htm. Let us know if you're celebrating Banned Books Week by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before September 18.