For Immediate Release: Sept. 23, 2009 Contacts: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282 firstname.lastname@example.org http://twitter.com/SFPLNews Have Lunch with the Banned! Celebrate the Freedom to Read and Rock Out at the San Francisco Main Library, Oct. 1st Banned Books Week: Sept. 26 through Oct. 3 San Francisco Public Library will be celebrating the freedom for everyone to read what they want – and rock out as they wish – at a lunchtime music-themed Ban(ne)d Books reading and performance on the Larkin Street steps of the Main Library on Thursday, Oct.1, noon-1:30 p.m. With readings, songs and readings about songs, this Ban(ne)d Books event will entertain and inspire both minds and ears! An exciting lineup of musicians and writers will be on hand for the event including Joey Altman and the Pimentos, Jack Boulware, Ben Fong-Torres, Kathi Kamen Goldmark & Sam Barry, Penelope Houston & Patricio Johnson, Frank Portman, Richie Unterberger, Roy Zimmerman, emcee Jewelle Gomez and more. Begun in 1982 by the American Library Association (ALA), this annual event takes place the last week of September and reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Since 2001, American libraries were faced with more than 3,736 challenges to materials. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. The ALA estimates that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. “Although in San Francisco we are fortunate to receive few challenges to our materials, it is important to recognize and celebrate this democratic freedom and the diversity of materials available at our libraries,“ said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “As our mission statement says, we are dedicated to free and equal access to information and to the joys of reading for our diverse community.” Among the most challenged books nationwide in 2008 were And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell; His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman; Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar; and The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.