September 22-28 is Banned Books Week. Why do we celebrate Banned Books Week every year? It’s a protest against censorship and a reminder that sometimes we need to actively protect intellectual freedom. According the the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week website, “It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. ”
What do we mean by a “banned book”? These are books that have been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. They aren’t all successfully “banned,” but they have been actively singled out for censorship somewhere in the U.S.
Here are some of the reasons people give for trying to limit access to certain books. (Click on image for larger version).
Here are the most challenged books of 2018. (Click on image for full-page version.)
Click for full list of books challenged in 2018 (.doc)
Click for a list of the most targeted books year by year
Here’s a short video about censorship and the goals of Banned Books Week:
You can celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a “banned” book! See a list in the CU library catalog of the most challenged books of 2017-2018.