Successful 2nd Annual Pub Crawl Supports Freedom to Read!
The 2nd Annual Upscale Pub Crawl on October 11 was an outstanding success! Over 450 community members visited 18 downtown Redwood City locations, enjoying libations and small bites and learning more about book bans from Library Foundation representatives at each location. Event proceeds help RCLF fund important library initiatives.
The Library Foundation celebrates Banned Books Week, an annual event supporting the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The 2023 theme was Let Freedom Read, and we featured 42 frequently challenged books on colorful posters at the pubs, from The Hate U Give to Gender Queer.
This year attendees received a program with an old-fashioned ’library checkout card’ and a map to guide them. Pub volunteers then stamped attendee cards while they talked about the banned books featured at that pub. Our community members seemed to love the challenge of filling in their cards. The stamps brought out lots of nostalgia, even from those who seemed too young to have ever used a card catalog!
The number of reported book challenges rose from 223 in 2020 to 2,571 in 2022. Libraries in schools and communities are becoming battlegrounds for censorship.
Currently more than 90 pending bills attempt to restrict what young people can be taught regarding race, history, politics, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Thank you to all who attended our Pub Crawl! Attending events like this and reading banned books from your library are ways to stay informed and involved. And a special thanks to the pubs, our volunteers, and all our sponsors. When the whole community shows up and speaks out, libraries can be protected!
The library was the most stable thing in our lives, the only thing in the whole damn society that said to little Mike Muñoz: “Here you go, kid, it’s all yours for the asking.”
– Quoted from the banned book
Lawn Boy by Jonathan Eviso