Categories: The Austere Publisher
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Published on: October 1, 2010

Have you ever read any of the bookdisk classics? Have you reveled in truly great stories like ‘The Great Getsbee’, ‘Catcher in the Lye’, ‘2984’, ‘Lola’, or ‘Of Creep and Men?"


If you have, then you’ve read a banned bookdisk.


Kroy’s annual Banned Bookdisks Week started again this Monday. For the next seven days bookdisk sellers, libraries, and news sources alike  will  celebrate free speech and the fight against information restriction.


In the age of the Alkranet, it is hard to think of any information being restricted for too long. But before the ‘net was  developed, people shared long stories and volumes of ideas on hard copy Bookdisks.


Though costing upwards of 300 krohl a disk when they were first released, bookdisks were convenient and nearly indestructible ways of preserving and passing on the favorite stories of the galaxy. They could be left in the vacuum of space, put under enormous amounts of pressure, even subjected to fire, and they would still be no worse for the wear. Even now, when most people get their information from Alkranet sources, the biggest and best stories are still contained in Bookdisks.


But what Bookdisks were available for public consumption was – and, in some sectors, still is – in the hands of bookdisk sellers, school officials, and librarians.  What happens if a bookdisk’s story offends the sensibilities of one of these people in power? Then it can be taken off the shelves and the official in question can refuse to sell or distribute it to the public.


During the previous dynasty, if a community wanted to challenge this decision they would have to stand as a united front against the persons in question and demand the right to have access to the bookdisk – which would sometimes be a long and tiring process.


As a result, the Kroy Library Association started ‘Banned Bookdisk Week’ 30 years ago as a way to increase consciousness of the bookdisks that were being banned and the fights that people sometimes had to wage to read what they wanted.


The week also focuses issues of censorship. Banning bookdisks isn’t simply an issue of restricting literature that the majority of the population may find offensive. It is an act of censorship, and an infringement on the basic rights of humanity. The KLA also provides research material on other forms of censorship like the sedition law and how movie ratings are chosen. In doing so, students of all ages can now see what happens when the attempt to censor an idea goes to a new level.


But the banned bookdisks week is, in many ways, a welcome reminder. In an age where information is readily available anywhere there is an Alkranet connection, knowing how to fight for your right to learn never goes out of style.



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