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AAP Publishers Connect with Book Lovers for 30th Annual “Banned Books Week”

AAP Members Produce Video Featuring Top-Selling Authors, Support Virtual Read-Out

Washington, DC; September 28, 2012 — Member organizations of the Association of American Publishers are offering an extensive slate of resources and opportunities to schools, libraries, booksellers and book lovers on behalf of the 30th annual Banned Books Week, a celebration of the freedom to read and a tribute to controversial books.

Additionally, as part of the national event running September 30-October 6, AAP members have created a video asking some of the country’s top authors: “What banned book are you reading?” The video is part of the annual Virtual Readout initiative launched by AAP and the other 10 organizations sponsoring the weeklong event.

AAP members’ involvement in Banned Books Week spans classrooms, libraries, bookstores, local markets and social media. Many are making available lists of challenged books as well as essays and commentary from many of these authors. Several are running contests and organizing community events. Publishers have produced classroom materials, teacher’s guides and supplemental school library activities exploring the issues of censorship and banned books. Many publishers have also launched special websites celebrating the works from their catalogues and, tapping into the industry’s extensive digital reach with readers, have multifaceted social media campaigns underway.

Details about participation from AAP member publishing organizations can be found here.

The authors’ video was taped at the 2012 BookExpo America conference. Authors who contributed their thoughts were Junot Diaz, Lisa Genova, John Green, Jenny Han, Deborah Harkness, William Joyce, Kitty Kelley, Jen Lancaster, James Meek, James Patterson, Molly Ringwald, Adriana Trigiani and Catherynne Valente. The video can be found on theBanned Books Week YouTube Channel where it joins video contributions from book lovers of all ages reading from their favorite censored works. More than 800 videos were posted during last year’s event and details about participation are available here.

AAP is active in First Amendment issues, providing legislative advocacy at the state and federal levels. It has participated as a plaintiff or friend-of-the-court in free speech cases for more than four decades and produces educational programs with other anti-censorship organizations for librarians, booksellers and authors. The AAP Freedom to Read Committee serves as the publishing industry’s watchdog on a wide-ranging slate of free speech-related issues and the International Freedom to Publish Committee has defended the publishers and authors worldwide.

As a founding sponsor of Banned Books Week, AAP is committed to the goal of mobilizing public support for the continued availability of the widest possible variety of books and reading materials, including those that put forth controversial or unpopular views.

About Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 by the Association of American Publishers, American Library Association and American Booksellers Association in response to a growing number of attempts to remove or restrict access to books in libraries, classrooms and bookstores. Its sponsors have since expanded to include 11 important organizations representing booksellers, libraries, teachers, publishers, authors, journalists, college bookstores and anti-censorship groups.

Held annually, Banned Books Week is a true national grassroots effort. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country produce displays of challenged books and host a variety of events including local read-outs of targeted titles. Publishers and authors join in with materials, essays and appearances. More information about local and national activities can be found at http://bannedbooksweek.org/

About AAP

About the Association of American Publishers:

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.