Banned Books Read-Out In Albany

Capital Region Chapter Sponsors Banned Books Read-Outs In Albany And Troy, September 24 And 27 The Capital Region Chapter will sponsor two “Read Outs” during this year’s national Banned Books Week. The events in Albany and Troy will feature notable actors, writers, politicians, poets, and activists of all types reading from books that have been banned or challenged in the United States. The first Read-Out will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the University Club, 141 Washington Ave. in Albany. The second event will take place as part of Troy Night Out on Friday, September 27 at 6 pm at Market Block Books, 290 River Street, Troy. Both events are free and open to the public. “Our Constitution gives us the right to read what we want, and the best way to preserve that freedom is to exercise it,” Melanie Trimble, NYCLU Chapter Director, said. “At a time when pervasive governmental spying on citizens is in the news daily, it is crucial that people come out to demonstrate their passionate commitment to constitutional freedoms.” Every year there are hundreds of attempts to suppress books in our schools and libraries. From 2000 to 2010, the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association (ALA) recorded 5,099 challenges to books nationwide. And, since most banning attempts do not get widely reported, the organization estimates that the real number of attempted suppressions is at least four to five times higher. Heading the most recent list of the country’s most frequently challenged books is Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series. Runner up is Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Many of America’s greatest novels have been the most consistently challenged works, among them: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, Ulysses, Invisible Man, The Call of the Wild, Native Son, Rabbit, Run and An American Tragedy. Many attempts to ban reading material are not necessarily mounted in the parts of the country where one might predict them to be. Substantial clusters of challenges can be found on both the East and West Coasts. One recent ALA survey, for example, counted five incidents each in Connecticut and Pennsylvania but only one each in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. The most active states were New York, California, Texas, Wisconsin and Florida, which all recorded between 10 and 13 challenges. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. University Club 141 Washington Ave. Albany