Banned Books Week is a cooperative effort by librarians, booksellers, teachers, publishers, and other people who care about books and intellectual freedom. It occurs every year during the last week of September, and this year marks the event’s 30th anniversary. The purpose of Banned Books Week is to raise awareness of the ways in which Americans’ First Amendment rights to freedom of expression are limited by those who seek to remove controversial books from libraries and schools. The week calls attention to both “banned” and “challenged” books (to challenge a book is to make an effort to remove it from an institution; to ban it is to actually do so). Books are usually challenged or banned due to content deemed “inappropriate” or “offensive.” Sexual explicitness and offensive language top the list of reasons for challenges; other reasons include violence, homosexuality, occult themes, drugs, or anti-ethnic sentiments. The American Library Association keeps track of the titles challenged each year. Click here for a list of the top 10 most challenged titles in 2011. Over the decades, challengers have targeted popular series like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight, as well as classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird. This week, stand up for freedom of expression by reading a banned or challenged book!
The books pictured below and many others are available from the BANNED BOOKS DISPLAY at the PSC Library.
Banned Books Week (2012). About. Retrieved from http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about
American Library Association (2012). About banned & challenged books. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/aboutbannedbooks