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Banned Books: Welcome

Observing "Banned Books" Week and a Guide to Resources for Eng 85 and Eng 270

Banned Books Week 2021

Banned Books Week 2021

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association,

Reason for Challenges

Office of Intellectual Freedom - Reasons for books being challenged

Top 10 Challenged Books 2021

"The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1597 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books."

- State of America's Libraries Report, April 4, 2022

List from the Internet Archive's Open Library

Top 10 Most Challenged

Internet Archive's Open Library - Top 10 Challenged Books for 2020

Challenges to Books Can Occur Close to Home

For a larger map of the West Coast.

image attribution: creator unknown,

Where are Books Challenged?

 chart of where books are challenged (public libraries, schools, etc)

image copyright of the American Library Association (ALA)

Reasons for Challenges

 reasons books rare challenged

image copyright of the American Library Association (ALA)


Censorship in the News

                CBS eyemark                  Texas Governor signs social media censorship  bill -- 9/2021

The original uploader was Estoy Aquí at English Wikipedia., CBS Eyemark, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Banned Books Week 2021: Books Unite Us


                Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us               Banned Boks Week 2021

"Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us" September 26--October 2nd, 2021

image copyright: American Library Association, 2021

Banned Books FAQ

From American Library Association's (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom

What is the difference between a ban and a challenge?

"A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.  Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection."

Why are books challenged?

"... Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:

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

Although this is a commendable motivation, Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association's basic policy concerning access to information) states that, 'Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.' Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment."

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