Unfortunately, the freedom to read is constantly under attack — but these grants can help
America was built on Freedom. The guaranteed freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly and the right to petition the government make Americans the freest group of people in the world.
The freedom to read is an essential part of our democracy. The American Library Association “promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.”
Reading is so critical to our freedoms that Author Daniel Pennac created the Reader's Bill of Rights:
Unfortunately, the freedom to read is constantly under attack when people try to limit access to reading materials and censor what is deemed controversial by themselves. Thirty-nine years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that school officials cannot ban books in libraries simply because of their content. However, books are still being challenged and banned today. Books are often challenged by groups and individuals with the best intentions: to protect others from what the challenger perceives as difficult ideas or information. In 2020, 273 books were challenged in libraries, schools and universities.
Banned Books Week was created shortly after the Supreme Court ruling and celebrates that most books challenged have remained available. Banned Books Week will be celebrated September 26 to October 2, 2021, and the theme is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." Books that are featured during this week have been targeted through censorship in libraries and schools.
Funding is more critical than ever as libraries continue to serve their communities amid this censorship war. Here are ten literacy grant opportunities to help librarians fight censorship, keep books available in libraries and promote the freedom to read.
What will you do to get involved to support libraries, help fight censorship, and promote the freedom to read during #bannedbooksweek?
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