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Banned Books Week 9/18-9/24/2022: Home

What is banned books week?

Banned Books Week 2021

Every year, hundreds of books are challenged in libraries and schools. These challenges aim to remove the books from the curriculum or library circulation. 

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It brings together the entire book community, including librarians, publishers, book sellers and readers. This week is dedicated to educating others about the banned and challenged books from past and recent history.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The American Library Association (ALA)'s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. (American Library Association, 2011).

Why are books challenged?

Why are books challenged? 

Often times it is a well meaning patron of the community who wants to protect the children from harmful or sensitive information. Other times, it is due to the biased opinion of one person or group who insist that the material is offensive to them and must be removed. 

Libraries have information for all but not all information will sit well with everyone, that is why we have challenges. 

According to ALA, the top three reasons behind a challenge are:

  1. the material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
  2. the material contained "offensive language"
  3. the materials was "unsuited to any age group"