“Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”
—Article 3, Library Bill of Rights
September 21-27 is Banned Books Week—an annual event launched by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom to “promote awareness of challenges to library materials and celebrate[s] freedom of speech.”
The Banned Books Week Website includes a variety of information, including top ten lists of challenged books from the past decade. The 2011 list includes the legal classic To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
Federal Courts have struck down a variety of efforts to ban access to books. A list of some of these cases is available on the ALA website here.
Today is the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Pursuant to 36 U.S.C. §106, September 17 is designated as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day”, and under 36 U.S.C. §108, the President is requested to “designate the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 as ‘Constitution Week.’”
Useful resources about the U.S. Constitution include:
- American Memory (Library of Congress) Find documents from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention (1774-1789), includes images of original documents and related materials.
- Founder’s Constitution (University of Chicago Press) Provides links to historical documents related to the development of the Constitution.
- LII: CRS Annotated Constitution Prepared by the Congressional Research Service, provides links to Supreme Court opinions, the U.S. Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations.
- National Archives Images of original documents and historical information