NEW YORK— The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) offers anti-censorship resources as libraries, bookstores, and schools nationwide celebrate Banned Books Week, October 1 – 7, 2003, a weeklong celebration of the freedom to read – at a time when book challenges and bans are at record levels.
“With the continued rise of book censorship, there has never been a more critical time to rise up together in support of free expression and keep the censors at bay,” said NCAC Executive Director Lee Rowland. “Banned Books Week is the free speech community’s opportunity to fight censorship and celebrate our freedom to read, and the NCAC’s anti-censorship resources and materials can help advocates ensure that freedom stays intact.”
In response to the surge in book bans, the NCAC has launched its Kids’ Right to Read Network (KRRN), a national grassroots effort to push back against the rising tide of censorship at the local level. NCAC is bringing together local groups that are fighting for the freedom to read in school and library districts across the country. Through its growing network of affiliates, the KRRN will provide resources and tools for advocates to participate in school board meetings, garner media attention to their activities, and, most importantly, protect individuals’ right to choose reading materials for themselves and their families.
NCAC also provides a range of free resources to support teachers, authors, and students in their fight against censorship in classrooms and libraries. Advocates can access free data, tools, and a Map that offers information on instances of book bans and censorship in communities nationwide. All tools are available for free and available at ncac.org/bannedbooks.
During the week, NCAC experts will participate in two events. On October 1, NCAC will partner with The New York Historical Society to kick off Banned Books Week with Family Day: Kickoff to Banned Books Week!, a full day’s worth of activities for families to celebrate and learn a little more about the history of censorship in the United States. NCAC’s Student Advocates for Free Speech volunteers will support efforts as NCAC’s former Executive Director Chris Finan emcees a Q & A session with special guest authors Wade Hudson and Eliot Schrefer.
Additionally, on Friday, October 6, from 7 – 9:30 p.m. at 66 Greenpoint Bar, in New York, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation and Book Club for the Book Hoes will host a Banned Books Week – Panel Discussion & Trivia. NCAC’s Director of the Youth Free Expression Program Christine Emeran will take part in a panel discussion along with Program Assistant for the Freedom to Read Program at PEN America Madison Markham and Collections Manager at Brooklyn Public Library Leigh Hurwitz. Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Mandy Salley will moderate the discussion followed by Banned Book Trivia with Book Club for the Book Hoes creator Zoë Mahler.
Our team of experienced professionals are available to provide insightful and informative interviews. Media interested in speaking with NCAC experts regarding the Kids’ Right to Read Network, attacks on the freedom to read, book banning trends, or pro-censorship legislation may contact NCAC Director of Communications Macey Morales at [email protected] to schedule opportunities.
National Coalition Against Censorship
Since its inception in 1974, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has functioned as a first responder in protecting freedom of expression, a fundamental human right and a keystone of democracy. Representing 59 national education, publishing, and arts organizations, NCAC encourages and facilitates dialogue between diverse voices and perspectives, including those that have historically been silenced.