Established 33 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), 311 challenges to library materials were reported in 2014. Among the most frequently challenged titles were The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, and, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell.
Why should you care about the issue of banned books? Banning a book from a library collection is a form of censorship. Past 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?
- Visit the American Library Association Banned and Challenged Books website
- See a bibliography of books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2014 and 2015 (compiled from challenges reported to the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom)
- View videos, post your own video, or watch celebrity videos on the YouTube Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out