In 1953, the American Library Association (ALA) came together with literary leaders around the United States to condemn attacks on free expression by creating the Freedom to Read Statement. The statement begins with:
“The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack.”
Now, fifty years later, there is a renewal of attacks on our fundamental liberties. US libraries, authors, schools, publishers, and more are facing challenges from book bans to unconstitutional legislation.
To support the right to free expression, the Forest Park Public Library (FPPL) will hold the Freedom to Read Rally on Sunday, October 1.
“The library’s mission is to make space and support a diverse range of views and information needs,” said FPPL Library Director Vicki Rakowski. “By holding this rally, we hope to raise awareness of the rising call to defend everybody’s freedom to read as well as to show our community that the library will always defend their intellectual freedom.”
This all-ages event is a chance for family and friends to have fun while proudly speaking up for all readers.
Freedom to Read activities begin at 2 pm. Enjoy a churro from the Xurro Churro Truck while supplies last. The Library will have stations to make signs, buttons, and black out poetry. There will be a READ poster photo booth as well as a Banned Books Read-a-Loud. The rally will begin at 3:30 pm and feature Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins, IL Speaker of the House Chris Welch, EveryLibrary Executive Director John Chrastka, and Julio Flores, Director of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.
The Forest Park Public Library was founded in 1916. For over 100 years, the Library has worked to maintain and share a collection that meets the needs of our diverse community, and will provide programs that educate, empower, and entertain our public.