Free Expression

    Banned Books Week 2016 to Focus on Diversity

    This year’s Banned Books Week, from September 25−October 1, will shine the spotlight on banned or challenged literature by diverse writers and explore why diverse books are disproportionately singled out for censorship.

    ABA Urges Hong Kong Leader to Help Missing Booksellers

    ABA is urging the chief executive of Hong Kong to demand that Chinese authorities release five employees of a Hong Kong publisher and bookseller who are being held on the Chinese mainland.

    The Dangers of Self-Censorship

    ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at the implications for the freedom to write, publish, and sell books, when authors and publishers respond to controversies over their works by pulling them from the marketplace.

    Protests Continue Over Disappearance of Hong Kong Booksellers

    Protests over the disappearance of five employees of a Hong Kong publisher and its bookstore are continuing two weeks after the last of the men vanished.

    ABFE Session at Wi11 to Focus on Training to Meet Free Speech Threats

    Tattered Cover General Manager Matt Miller will recreate the free speech training given to all new employees of the iconic Denver bookstore at a Winter Institute session on January 26.

    ABA Extremely Concerned Over Missing Hong Kong Booksellers

    ABA issued a statement on January 7 expressing “extreme concern” over the fate of five employees of a Hong Kong publisher and its bookstore who have apparently been taken into custody by Chinese authorities and taken to the Chinese mainland.

    Northshire Bookstore Responds to Free Speech Threat

    Northshire Bookstore owner Chris Morrow’s response to a customer who yelled at staff and threatened to put the store out of business for displaying an illustrated copy of American Qur’an has received widespread support.

    Court Hears Argument in Booksellers’ Challenge to Louisiana Age-Verification Law

    Attorneys representing two New Orleans bookstores and ABA urged a federal judge to block enforcement of a new Louisiana law that requires website owners to verify that visitors to their sites are 18 or older before providing access to non-obscene material that could be deemed “harmful to minors” because of its sexual content.

    Banned Books Week Photo Album Highlights Booksellers’ Creativity

    Booksellers can get inspired for next year’s celebration of Banned Books Week by checking out a collection of more than 80 photos of bookstore displays from this year’s event.

    Mount Horeb Says “No” to Censorship

    A plan to read a children’s book about a transgender girl to a Wisconsin elementary school class was cancelled in late November, when school officials were threatened with legal action. However, the attempted censorship appears to have backfired, writes ABFE Director Chris Finan.

    The Free Speech Controversy on Campus

    Some of the students involved in campus protests over racial discrimination have demonstrated hostility toward the free speech rights of others. Should booksellers side with a minority that is trying to make itself heard or condemn those who violate the very rights that make protest possible? asks ABFE Director Chris Finan.

    Media Coalition Executive Director David Horowitz Explains Group’s Impact on Booksellers

    Media Coalition, whose members are eight media and entertainment trade associations, including ABA, has been defending First Amendment rights since 1973. Its latest challenge to a law threatening those rights was filed this week on behalf of Garden District Book Shop and Octavia Books, among others.

    Booksellers Challenge Louisiana Age-Verification Law

    ABA has joined two New Orleans bookstores in filing a legal challenge to a new Louisiana law that requires website owners to post a page where customers must indicate whether they are 18 or older before accessing material that is “harmful to minors” because of its sexual content.

    Around Indies

    P.J. Boox opens with unique business model; Greenlight celebrates sixth anniversary, best bookstore honor; Tattered Cover’s Joyce Meskis hailed as First Amendment hero; Books Connection holds grand reopening; Brick and Mortar series spotlights indie booksellers

    How Booksellers Joined the Fight for Free Speech

    In 1915, Boston booksellers were part of an anti-vice group that reviewed books with sexual content and dictated whether they were to be removed from bookstore shelves. In this first article in a series, ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at how booksellers moved from banning books to today’s celebration of Banned Books Week.


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