Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week
September 30 – October 6, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012This year marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, a week used to recognize our freedom to read and to call attention to attempts to challenge that freedom.  Banned Books Week is especially celebrated in the library community. This is not surprising, given that libraries have a long history of, and commitment to, providing unfettered access to information and ideas.

Last year, libraries across the United States reported 326 book challenges to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The 2011 top 10 most frequently challenged books included:

  • The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins (Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (Reasons: offensive language; racism)

If you’d like to learn more about banned and challenged books, take a look at this special timeline – 30 Years of Liberating Literature – or visit the Frequently Challenged Books website. One of the ways in which you can show your support of Banned Books Week is to participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out.  The Read-Out is a way for readers from around the world to participate in the 30th anniversary celebration of Banned Books Week by posting videos to a dedicated YouTube channel.  In this video, several well-known authors discuss their favorite banned books.

We hope you’ll take a moment this week to reflect upon your freedom to read.