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Letter to the editor: Celebrate your freedoms during Banned Books Week

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This week, take time to celebrate your freedom to read any book, access any website, read news from around the world without filters, and learn about any topic in the world. privacy of your mind, without fear.

The last week of September is when the library community makes a special effort to recognize and celebrate the freedom to read. Banned Books Week is an opportunity to celebrate our right to access information of all kinds. While some people think they’re protecting people by challenging the books, that’s a mistake, and we call that censorship. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that access to information is a right.

The Maine Library Association calls on everyone, in every political office, to consider exalting access above fear, in celebration of one of the things that truly makes our country great: our right to access information without government-sanctioned censorship. Access to information is one of our fundamental constitutional rights, and across the state, we work hard to ensure that everyone’s right to the First Amendment is reaffirmed.

Librarians believe that we all deserve access to a wide range of information – indeed, we will fight to keep all the books on the shelves, championing all points of view. “Irreversible Damage” may have a place on library shelves in the same way that “Gender Queer” deserves one. Let people make their own reading decisions for themselves and their own families – not anyone else – this week and every week.

Samantha Duckworth
Chair, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Maine Library Association
Braunschweig


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