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The Banned Books Reader 2014

The Banned Books Reader 2014

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.  The ten most challenged titles of 2013 can be seen here.

Here are some of the articles I have found interesting this year.

Copyright Crazies or Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Copyright Crazies or Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I intentionally did not call out either the artist or the sloppily sharing page by name because this situation is not really about them.  This just represents one skirmish in the constant ongoing struggle between artists of all types and those who think the Internet is giant unsupervised lost and found bin.  I dread the day when artists like this one, or photographers, or animators, feel compelled to hide their work behind pay-walls because a basic respect for the work of others is lacking in so many.

A very talented artist who shares her work in books she sells, as well as on her website and Facebook page, seems to have touched a nerve with an extremely polite and restrained suggestion to the operator of a Facebook page that shares, uncredited images from around the web on the general topic of history.

The artist noticed one of her pieces had been shared, uncredited, by the page operator and made this suggestion, verbatim, including the smiley at the end: “Would be great if you could credit the artist when using their work. :)

The page owner replied back with the oh so common response of: finders keepers and everyone does it… if an image is on the net it means anyone can use it and I’m sure lots of people are.”

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#WeNeedDiverseBooks goes Offline (in a good way)

#WeNeedDiverseBooks goes Offline (in a good way)

Ilene Wong posted this on the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign event page on Facebook tonight:  In case people haven’t heard today’s stupendous news: the ‪#‎WeNeedDiverseBooks‬ campaign will be going to BookCon! Special thanks to Aisha Saeed and Ellen C. Oh, who brokered the deal. I’m excited to be moderating Mike Jung, Lamar Giles, Marieke Nijkamp on the panel (or at least my alter ego I. W. Gregorio is :D), along with Grace Lin, Matt de la Peña and Jacqueline Woodson.

We Need Diverse BooksIn response to the controversy that erupted last month over the lack of diversity in its schedule, BookCon has added a panel titled “The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks” to its programming lineup. The panel includes five key members of the #WNDB campaign that emerged out of the BookCon controversy and three bestselling authors well-known for including diverse characters and exploring issues relating to diversity in their books: Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Matt de la Peña (The Living), and Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon). The panel discussion is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 31 from 10-11 a.m. The moderator will be #WNDB team member I.W. Gregorio, whose debut YA novel, None of the Above, will be published in 2015.

BookCon show manager Brien McDonald told PW that, after witnessing the outpouring on May 1 of tweets under the #WNDB hashtag concerning diversity in books, he contacted the organizers of the grassroots campaign and invited them to put together a panel. “When you look at BookCon and what we’re striving to do for the industry and what we will do as far as content, this is a really nice piece of it,” he said. “What they’re doing is highlighting an industry-wide conversation that is of critical importance. And it’s an issue a lot of readers definitely care about.”

Even though “The World Agrees” panel is taking place at the same time as a heavily-promoted conversation between two A-list authors, John Grisham and Carl Hiaasen, both Oh and McDonald are confident that the panel will draw an audience. “Given that the campaign and what they’ve done grassroots-wise, that in itself will have everyone curious,” McDonald said. “That’s positive for attendance. [It’s] going to be an awesome panel and a great opportunity for discovery.”

via ReedPOP Adds BookCon Panel on Diverse Books

Top 500 #WeNeedDiverseBooks Tweeters

Top 500 #WeNeedDiverseBooks Tweeters

This cloud represents the 500 most active Tweeters during the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. The tool I use does not like underscores so underscores have been converted to dashes.  I also omitted the actual @diversebooks account because it threw off the scale entirely.

Top 500

What does the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Tweet archive tell us?

What does the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Tweet archive tell us?

There were over 107,000 tweets and retweets during the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign.  There were roughly 31,218 “original” tweets and the remaining 75,000 or so were retweets.  The key Tumblr posts about the campaign can be viewed here.

The single most retweeted post was this one – at of the time of this posting it has been shared 805 times, and favorited 1,730 times.

Other favorites include:

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10 Awesome Tweets from #WeNeedDiverseBooks Day One

10 Awesome Tweets from #WeNeedDiverseBooks Day One

Despite all kinds of awesomeness over the last couple of days, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign started at 1:00pm today and runs through May 3rd. Looking at the growing archive of tweets, there are around 8,000 tweets with the hashtag surfacing every hour.

These are some of my favorites so far.

1. Because Demographics are Changing

2. Because the Human Imagination is Amazing

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