With Banned Book Week library embraces controversy

San Francisco residents — not exactly an inhibited bunch to begin with — will get a chance soon to further embrace their bad side, albeit in a literary fashion.

Starting on Saturday, the San Francisco Public Library will host a series of events in recognition of Banned Book Week, a national movement created to remind the country about the importance of First Amendment rights.

The weeklong celebration will be highlighted by a lunchtime music and reading performance on Thursday afternoon at the library’s main branch on Larkin Street. A lineup of musicians and writers, including Ben Fong-Torres, Richie Unterberger and Roy Zimmerman, will stage various performances in support of controversial works.

Since 2001, there have been legal challenges to over 3,700 books in American libraries, including movements against novels like the prize-winning “Kite Runner,” which has been adapted for screen and stage, and “Gossip Girl” series of young adult novels, which also have been adapted into a controversial TV series.

“Although in San Francisco we are fortunate to receive few challenges to our materials, it is important to recognize and celebrate this democratic freedom and the diversity of materials available at our libraries,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “As our mission statement says, we are dedicated to free and equal access to information and to the joys of reading for our diverse community.”

banned book weekBay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsPoliticssfplUnder the Dome

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Students practice identifying species in the school garden at Verde Elementary in Richmond during summer camp. (Photo courtesy of Verde Elementary)
Reading, writing and bike riding: How schools spent summer helping students recover from pandemic

By Sydney Johnson EdSource Bicycles typically aren’t allowed on the blacktop at… Continue reading

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission launched a pilot program that offers up to 90 percent discounts on water and sewer bills for eligible customers. (Andri Tambunan/Special to ProPublica)
How does 90% off your water bill sound? Here’s who qualifies

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced this week it is launching… Continue reading

Most Read