Established 30 years ago, Banned Books Week highlights the importance of our freedom to read. Every year many books and other library materials are challenged by individuals and groups who think these titles should be removed from school and public libraries because of inappropriate content.
According to the American Library Association (ALA), 326 challenges to library materials were reported in 2011. Among the most frequently challenged titles were the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Why should you care about the issue of banned books? Banning a book from a library collection is a form of censorship. This year’s Honorary ALA Co-chair of Banned Books Week, journalist Bill Moyers eloquently states the dangers of censorship in a video essay on the importance of freedom of expression:
Censorship is the enemy of truth, even more than a lie. A lie can be exposed; censorship can prevent us from knowing the difference.Interested in finding out more about Banned Books Week and Censorship?
Check out this interactive website from The Robert E. Kennedy Library at California Polytechnic State UniversityAnd the information available at the American Library Associations Banned Books site.
Beth Garnsey, Faculty Librarian
Oakland Community College