Free Expression

    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.

    Children’s Book Art Auction Adds 14 Illustrators, Calls for Volunteers

    Artwork by more than 125 artists and illustrators will be up for bidding at the May 26 ABFE Art Auction to Benefit Free Speech in Children’s Books. Tickets for the event are on sale now, and ABFE is seeking volunteers from the bookselling and publishing world to help out at the auction.

    Booksellers Urged to Voice Support for Patriot Act Reform

    In a letter sent on May 8, ABA called on its members to contact their representatives in the U.S. House to show their support for the USA FREEDOM Act, which limits the scope of data collected under the Patriot Act. The letter also urged booksellers to contact their senators to voice their opposition to S. 1035, a bill that reauthorizes Section 215 without any changes.

    Small Press Profile: A Conversation With Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House Books

    The second in Bookselling This Week’s series of small press profiles features a conversation with Dennis Loy Johnson, publisher and co-founder of the Brooklyn-based independent publisher Melville House Books.

    Judy Blume Discusses Censorship

    Judy Blume, this year’s ABFE Art Auction honoree, talks about fighting back against censorship and the surprise she felt the first time one of her books was challenged.

    ABFE Update: New Hope for PATRIOT Act Reform

    The American Booksellers for Free Expression is strongly supporting the FREEDOM Act, which would make significant changes to the PATRIOT Act.

    BTW News Briefs

    Court strikes down ban on prisoner speech; National Endowment for Humanities announces new grant; 2015 Edgar winners announced; Lambda Literary selects Emerging Writer Award winners; James Beard Foundation names award winners; Booksellers on judges panel for 2015 Kirkus Prize; Nevada writers win Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award; President of HarperCollins Children's Books to retire 


    Booksellers Reaffirm Support for Charlie Hebdo

    The American Booksellers for Free Expression has joined the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Association of American Publishers, and others in reaffirming their support for Charlie Hebdo. In recent days, prominent American literary figures have criticized the French satirical magazine for cartoons that they believe are anti-Muslim.


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