Free Expression

    What the Polls Say About Free Speech in the United States

    In his monthly opinion column, ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at troubling results from recent polls on Americans’ understanding of their First Amendment rights as well as their feelings towards censorship.

    Organizing a Banned Books Week Event: A Q&A With Tom Campbell of The Regulator Bookshop

    Regulator Bookshop owner Tom Campbell talks to ABFE Director Chris Finan about how easy he found it to organize a program of readings by local authors and others from banned books, an event he plans to reprise for Banned Books Week.

    All-New Marketing Designs Unveiled for Banned Books Week

    Booksellers planning celebrations for Banned Books Week, which takes place this year from September 27 to October 3, can enhance their displays with a variety of all-new, downloadable Banned Books Week-themed designs for use on posters, bookmarks, T-shirts, and more. 

    311 Reasons to Celebrate Banned Books Week

    Though the reported number of book challenges has fallen, statistics do not give a full picture, says ABFE Director Chris Finan. “The reality is that censorship is still a problem in this country, and most of the victims are kids. Sometimes books are literally taken out of their hands.”

    Judge Blocks Arizona’s Nude Photos Law

    On Friday, July 10, a federal judge in Phoenix permanently blocked Arizona officials from enforcing a 2014 law restricting the display of nude pictures in books, newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet.

    European & International Booksellers Federation Reaffirms Support for Freedom of Speech

    At its annual conference in Brussels earlier this month, the European & International Booksellers Federation reaffirmed its “absolute” belief in and support for freedom of speech, of publishing, and of bookselling.

    Let Snowden Come Home: An Opinion Column

    ABFE Director Chris Finan expresses his personal belief that the Espionage Act charges against Edward Snowden should be dropped, allowing him to be tried for stealing government documents or another lesser crime.

    Children’s Art Auctions Raise $60,000 for Kids’ Free Speech Rights

    The two auctions of children’s book art that were held in conjunction with BookExpo America raised almost $60,000 to defend the free speech rights of kids, the American Booksellers for Free Expression reported on Wednesday.

    Senate Passes USA FREEDOM Act by 67–32 Vote

    The U.S. Senate approved the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048) by a vote of 67–32 on Tuesday, June 2. The bill had already passed the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote.

    Children’s Book Art Auction Underway on eBay

    The American Booksellers for Free Expression’s online auction of more than 50 works of art created by children’s book illustrators is open on eBay through Monday, June 8.

    Senate Struggles to Extend PATRIOT Act

    The U.S. Senate is deadlocked over proposed changes in the USA PATRIOT Act. It must pass legislation extending several sections of the law before midnight on Sunday, May 31, or they will expire, forcing the government to shut down surveillance programs that it says it needs to protect the country from terrorism.

    BTW News Briefs

    Bookseller essays sought for new series; Children’s Book Council to receive BEA’s Industry Ambassador Award; PEN to stage “Shadow Expo” during BEA to shed light on Chinese censorship; Los Angeles preliminarily approves $15 minimum wage 

    Booksellers Play Key Role in Reader Privacy Fight

    With a Senate vote on the FREEDOM Act expected soon, ABFE Director Chris Finan takes the opportunity to look back at how the fight for reader privacy began 17 years ago, when subpoenas for a customer’s records were issued to two Washington, D.C., bookstores.

    Senate Vote Due on USA FREEDOM Act

    Key sections of the USA PATRIOT Act are set to expire on June 1. The U.S. House has overwhelmingly approved the FREEDOM Act, which extends the expiring sections but includes protections for the privacy of personal information. However, there may not be enough votes to pass this new legislation in the Senate.

    Call Your Senators Today to Support the USA FREEDOM Act

    The House has passed the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that creates important safeguards for the privacy of personal information of Americans, including their bookstore and library records. A vote in the Senate is expected next week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising to defeat the bill.


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