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Support Banned Books Week - post the animated graphic below in all your digital media!

Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book

1. To embed this graphic, copy and paste the following code into your blog or web page:

2. To save this graphic to your computer, right click (on a Mac, Control + click ) on the image above and select "Save Picture As . . ." Once you've saved the graphic to your computer, send it to your friends and colleagues as an email attachment and spread the word!

 

DOWNLOAD THE FIRST AMENDMENT FIRST AID KIT

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the kit. (~640 KB, about 1 minute to download on a 56K computer)

 

SAMPLE LETTER TO THE EDITOR

When you choose to fight censorship, remember that you are not alone. Raising community awareness and enlisting support are key steps toward removing book bans and guaranteeing intellectual freedom. The media can serve as a powerful source of support. By filling out this form letter and sending it to various newspapers, magazines and other media outlets, you can spread the word and begin to form a united front against censorship.

Copy this letter and paste it into your own document:


Dear (Name):

As you know, (Organization) has recently challenged the right of the children of our community to read (Book/Author). In a way, this is an honor—(Book) takes its place beside other books that have been banned, titles including such classics as Little House on the Prairie, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hamlet, and Of Mice and Men. Certainly, (Book) is in august company.

Censorship—the suppression of ideas or other information that a portion of the population finds objectionable—is an abrogation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is this amendment that guarantees us the right to free speech, and by extension, freedom to read. When censorship is applied to what our children read, even for what appears to be the noblest of motives, we teach the young a far more harmful lesson than any work of literature ever could. We teach that the few can disrupt the rights of all. We teach our children that they are not capable of learning to think for themselves, to make considered and thought-out decisions. We teach that conformity is worth more than true learning.

This is a lesson we cannot support.

The American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Coalition Against Censorship, The Center for the Book, and The Library of Congress are just a few of the organizations that agree with us. So does the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment states simply and clearly: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

We are writing to invite your support for our children’s constitutional right. Our children deserve the best we can offer—limitless ideas and the freedom to read about them.

Sincerely,
(Name)

 

ORGANIZATIONS THAT CAN HELP
The following organizations can assist your defense against attempts at censorship:

American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800-545-2433
www.ala.org/alaorg/oif/aboutoif


The American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression
139 Fulton Street, Suite 302
New York, NY 10038
(212) 587-4025
www.abffe.com
www.kidspeakonline.org


American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004-2400
(212) 549-2500
www.aclu.org


First Amendment Schools Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
1703 N. Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
(703) 575-5475
www.firstamendmentschools.org

International Reading Association
800 Barksdale Rd.
PO Box 8139
Newark, DE 19714-8139
(302) 731-1600
www.reading.org


National Coalition Against Censorship
275 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001
(212) 807-6222
www.ncac.org


National Council of Teachers of English
1111 Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL 61801-1096
www.ncte.org


People for the American Way
2000 M Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 467-4999
Fax: (202) 293-2672
www.pfaw.org

 

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

—The First Amendment

Click here to print out a copy of the First Amendment (PDF format)

 

DOWNLOAD THE "CENSORSHIP CAUSES BLINDNESS" POSTER


Click here to download an 8.5 x 11 printable PDF of the
"Censorship Causes Blindness" poster (pictured left).