Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week Celebrations in Albany and Troy

Banned Books Week

One of the great annual traditions in the area, and around the country, is coming up in late-Spetember. Over the years this event has brought out some biggest names in the local arts, poetry, and music scenes. Banned Books Week began in 1982 as a way to celebrate the 1st Amendment and the freedom of everyone to read the written word. Here is some information from theAmerican Library Association website.

Here is the information from the organizers Joanna Palladino and John Cirrin:

Banned Books Week Celebrations in Albany and Troy
September 30−October 6, 2012

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

On Friday, September 28th, 6PM, the New York State Civil Liberties Union, Capital Region Chapter with The University Club, will sponsor a local ReadOut! at the University Club!

A ReadOut is an event where local actors, writers, poets, and prominent community leaders read  brief excerpts from books that have been banned or challenged in America.  Historically, people have read from children books, classics, and modern works of literature.

We are also hosting a readout on Saturday, September 29th from 10 am – Noon at Market Block Books on River Street in Troy.    

The NYCLU- Capital Region Chapter is recruiting 10 -12 readers for this year’s Albany event and 10-12 readers for the Troy event!  If you are interested in participating in the event as a reader, please email your name, a short bio, and which event you’d like to read at (Troy or Albany) to  We typically get a more volunteers than time slots available, so please RSVP as quickly as possible.  If you have a book in mind, you can include your selection as well.  To encourage a great selection of material, we encourage no “repeats” and ask that each reader chooses a selection not read by anyone else.

Each reader is encouraged to select a passage from their selected book.  We encourage readers to select a passage no more than 2-3 minutes in length.  This way we can acommodate more readers during each ReadOut!  For a list of banned and challenged books you can go to:

If you have any questions regarding the event, feel free to contact Joanna Palladino at or John Cirrin at

If you are interested in attending (but not reading) the Albany  or Troy ReadOut!, use this email as a reminder for you to SAVE THE DATE and we’ll see you on September 28th and 29th!

Please RSVP no later than August 1st.  Readers will then be contacted during the month of August to confirm their bios and reading selections for inclusion in our event program.

Prior Year Volunteers/Supporters Have Included:
Robert Altman (WMHT), Frankie Bailey (Author, Academic), Diane Cameron (Writer, Columnist), Monica Cangero (Actress), Kathleen Carey (Actress, Bookseller, Teacher), Dan Cullen (Student), Susan Cullen (Educator, Parent), Frank Donegan (Author, Writer, Artist), R.M. Englehardt (Poet), A.C. Everson (Poet), Alice Green (Civil Rights & Community Activist), Aaron Holbritter (Actor/Director), Ben Katagiri (Actor), Frank Lang (Lawyer, Community Activist), Ross Levi (Empire State Pride Agenda), Donna Miller (Writer, Teach, Disability Advocate), Laura Murray (Librarian, Producer), Mother JudgeLibby Post (Writer, Columnist, Commentator), The Ramblin’ Jug StompersBob Resnick (Musician, Kinship Care Advocate), Lou Sansivero (Musician, Community Activist), Casey Seiler (Times Union Reporter, Writer), Marion Smith Roach (Author, Writer), Dan Wilcox (Poet and Community Activist), Janet Womachka (Actress, Safety & Health Activist), and James Yeara  (Actor, Director, Teacher).

Feel free to forward this message to others who might be interested.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers AssociationAmerican Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library AssociationAmerican Society of Journalists and AuthorsAssociation of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense FundNational Coalition Against CensorshipNational Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors.