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WORDS & IMAGES : Bookstore Joins In Effort to Halt Banning : A Ventura shop will display challenged works during 'Freedom to Read' week, starting Saturday.

September 23, 1993|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

An insidious campaign to ban now targets all kinds of books--from well-loved classics to the Bible. Yes, the Bible, considered by some as unsuitable for children because of lewd, indecent and violent content.

To counter these challenges to hundreds of titles, "Banned Books Week--Celebrating the Freedom to Read" was created 10 years ago by the literary community. The Ventura Bookstore will participate in Banned Books Week, which begins Saturday, by prominently displaying a number of challenged works.

Many whose intent is to ban believe that they are protecting themselves and their communities from perceived evil. The reality is that books are often challenged because their contents offend the sensibilities of certain folk.

Some libraries are under siege by protectors of moral values who take the "offending books" off the shelves and refuse to return them. They influence library and school boards to officially ban or restrict certain titles. For example, in a Florida library, children must get parental permission before checking out "Snow White" because it contains graphic violence.

"I Read Banned Books" buttons and bumper stickers are available for a $1 donation at the Ventura Bookstore, 522 E. Main St., Ventura.

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Once again writers and readers can meet authors at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Janet Dawson will sign "Take A Number" at 6 p.m. Friday, and T. Jefferson Parker (rescheduled) will autograph "Summer of Fear" at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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How do you research your own genealogy or perhaps the genealogy of a character you're writing about? The answers will be available at the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society workshop scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Saturday at the Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. Janss Road.

The seminar will cover how to use libraries, and read land, court, military, naturalization, citizenship and census records. Computer demonstrations will be offered all day on "Roots" and "Brothers Keeper" programs. Fee for non-members is $15 and includes a reference book. Call 495-3076.

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You don't need a hard body to enter this marathon, a seven-hour Open Reading, sponsored by the Simi Valley Poetry Series. Just bring your work. The entry fee is one or more cans of food and/or books in good condition. The food will be contributed to Care and Share, the books to the Simi Valley Library. The marathon will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the Simi Valley Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road. Call 527-5534.

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The Ojai Film Society will screen "Pixote" at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Ojai Playhouse, 145 E. Ojai Ave. This fictionalized portrait of the desperate lives of Brazil's street children was named best foreign film by New York and Los Angeles critics in 1981. Photographer Ed Goldstein, who has just returned from Brazil, will discuss the situation there after the screening.

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