Banned Books Week celebrates intellectual freedom and spotlights the value of open access to information. WCCLS supports the idea that the freedom to read is essential to our democracy. Free access to books, ideas, and information in public libraries is essential for education, employment, and self-government.
Banned Books Week, Oct. 1 to 7, 2023, draws attention to books that have been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries. The content of the books targeted for restriction varies over time, but the reason they are targeted remains the same: a belief that individual adults and parents cannot be trusted to choose their own reading material or that of their children. Instead of empowering readers and parents, censorship and book challenges restrict freedom.
Libraries affirm the right and responsibility of parents to guide their children’s library use, and the right of Americans to choose their own reading material. “It's important that community members get to choose reading material for themselves,” says Lisa Tattersall, WCCLS Manager. “The strength of our democracy rests on the ability of people to hold different viewpoints and disagree with each other, rather than seeking to close off access to viewpoints they find objectionable.”
WCCLS aims to create a curious, engaged, and literate community where everyone is welcome and thrives. WCCLS affirms the responsibility and right of families to choose how they use the library and which materials to check out. Individuals should be trusted to make their own decisions about what to read, and we value the diversity of our communities and strive to develop services and collections that are welcoming, inclusive, and representative.
If you would like to speak out against book bans and join others who oppose censorship, find advocacy tools and resources at uniteagainstbookbans.org.
Proudly display your freedom to read! Pick up a free vinyl sticker celebrating intellectual freedom at any WCCLS library starting Oct. 1 while supplies last.
Update: On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously declared their support for the freedom to read in Washington County, by officially declaring the first week of October Banned Books Week in Washington County. Tattersall and library staff from Tualatin Public Library, Hillsboro Public Library, and Garden Home Community Library, presented the Banned Books Week proclamation, which was then adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. Watch a video of the presentation and proclamation.