Banned Books Week Kicks Off With Online Event Featuring Bill Moyers

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week- an annual tribute to literary works and figures that have been the subject of criticism and ridicule and the focus of censorship by various groups around the globe.

Banned Books Week is an annual event that is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) with the aim of highlighting the importance of the freedom of expression and the freedom to read.

To mark the 30th anniversary, the ALA has decided to make award-winning broadcast journalist Bill Moyers and his wife Judith honorary co-chairs of this year's book reading celebration, which runs from Sept. 30 until Oct. 6.

"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read," according to a statement on the American Library Association website.

"Typically 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," the website continued.

The first Banned Book Week took place in 1982 and was organized in response to the rapidly increasing number of challenges aimed at various books that were available in stores, schools and libraries.

The ALA has revealed that for this year, Banned Books Week will be showcased with displays across the nation of censored and banned books along with read-outs and meetings dedicated to showing the importance of reading and the harm of censorship.

To kick-off the week, Moyers will host a virtual discussion on book censorship, Banned Books Week and other topics currently dominating the headlines. The "Live Chat with Bill Moyers" will be held on Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. EDT.

A link to the chat has been provided here.