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  • Writer's pictureMarc Johnson

Banned Books

There is a Reason it is the FIRST Amendment

At one time or another, most great books – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Catch 22, The Grapes of Wrath to name three – have been banned somewhere.

Book banning still happens with alarming frequency.

The American Library Association, with the ACLU and others helps, highlight the issue with the annual “banned book week” scheduled this year for September 26 – October 3.

Many libraries have special events and displays of “banned books” planned during the week.

In Boise, the Library! has an October 1st event scheduled.

In Ketchum, the Community Library has a screening of an HBO documentary on free speech issues planned for September 30. Check out other library websites for other events and join librarians – I love librarians – in celebrating the American ideal of freedom of expression.

Here’s to books – good, bad, indifferent – but most of all here’s to ideas. Books, after all, are merely a means to transmit ideas, the ideas we agree with and even the ideas we abhor.

I’ve always liked this quote from one of Idaho’s own:

“If the press is not free, if speech is not independent and untrammeled, if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.” – William E. Borah – U.S. Senate 1907-1940.

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