National Library Week (04-11 April 2021), Freedom of Publication and Banned Rock Songs

New York Public Library and two dogs

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week, is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

MUSIC TITLES INCLUDE:

Tell Laura I Love Her~~~Teen Angle~~~Leader Of The Pack~~~Wake Up Little Susie~~~Puff The Magic Dragon~~~You Dont Know How It Feels~~~A Day In The Life ~~~Battle Of New Orleans~~~Waterloo~~~God Only The Knows ~~~ Only The Good Die Young~~~Six Months In A Leaky Boat~~~Love Is A Battlefield~~~Living On The Frontlines~~~Sailing~~~Louie Louie

The theme for National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021), “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services. During the pandemic libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs.

The First Amendment’s right to freedom of expression encompasses intellectual freedom, which includes an individual’s right to receive information on a wide range of topics from a variety of viewpoints.

Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the State was to make men free to develop their faculties; and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.

Since the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, radio stations, TV networks and even entire countries have sought to silence controversial musicians by making their music, videos, and, in some cases, the artists themselves less accessible to the public.

In an early famous case, a New York court acquitted the publisher John Peter Zenger in 1735 for printing lyrics to ballads critical of the British colonial governor. Centuries after Zenger, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would state in Cinevision Corporation v. City of Burbank (1984), in which it overruled a city council’s denial of access to an amphitheater, “[M]usic is a form of expression that is protected by the First Amendment.”