The American Library Association website has information about the increase in book challenges in the last couple years. In 2022, ALA tracked 1,296 book challenges, nearly double the number of challenges in 2021. Every year, Banned Books Week is held to publicize these challenges and the books that are challenged. But also, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. Want to read a book that has been under attack? See the list here.
Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week 2018 is September 23-29. 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.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or have been restricted in libraries and schools. 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.
Here are the top ten challenged or banned books of 2017, as tracked by the American Library Association:
Celebrating 30 Years of Liberating Literature
This fascinating visual timeline celebrates 30 years of Banned Books Week, the national book community’s celebration of the freedom to read. For each year from 1982 to 2012, the timeline highlights one book banned or challenged in that particular year. In most cases, these books faced significant controversy that spanned numerous years.
Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants, explains how you can express concern about a book without undermining the freedom to read of those around you, by making a simple change. Watch the two minute video:
BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2015: September 27 – October 3
The American Library Association promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information and 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.
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. Check out this frequently challenged books list to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Privacy is important in US society for a number of reasons, but librarians are most interested in privacy because we all need to feel safe as we explore new ideas. Being judged for our reading habits or the kinds of information we consume can have a chilling effect on learning, public debate, and personal growth.
Thus, I thought that this report from Pew was worth sharing about the impact of government surveillance and the perceptions of privacy.
Pew Research Center Internet Project: Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era
Banned Books Week is scheduled for September 21-27, 2014, and has a comic book and graphic novel focus this year. Every year the American Library Association (ALA), along with the national book community, celebrates the freedom to read and raises awareness of censorship and banned/challenged books by celebrating Banned Books Week. With MVCC’s Graphic Novel Symposium happening this Thursday and Friday (September 18-19) I thought this article, by Ian Chant from Library Journal, was apropos.
MVCC Library has many of the challenged graphic novels in its collection:
- Bone by Jeff Smith
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
- Blankets by Craig Thompson
- The Sandman Omnibus by Neil Gaiman
- Watchmen by Alan Moore
Check them out as we defend your right to read! To see a list of more banned/challenged comic books and graphic novels check out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s (CBLDF) list here. To find out more about Banned Books Week and how you can help prevent censorship check out the CBLDF’s Banned Books Week Handbook, where you can also contribute to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.