Banned & Challenged Books Week Shines the Light on Censorship

September 22 – 28 is Banned Books Week!
Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On.

Earlier this month a Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee banned J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels because of fears that the books’ magical spells “risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.” Surprised? You shouldn’t be. In “Harry Potter and 20 Years of Controversy“, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom describes the history of challenges against the beloved series since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was published in the United States in 1999.

This isn’t an isolated incident. In 2018, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracked 347 challenges to library, school and university materials. The graphic below reveals the Top 11 most frequently challenged books of 2018, and you can download the complete list of all titles challenged last year from the OIF’s website.

Please join us in celebrating free and open access to information during Banned Books Week. Visit our lobby to browse a pop-up display of banned and challenged books. While you’re here grab a button to show your support for the freedom to read.

For more information about banned and challenged books, visit the ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books webpage to view the top 10 challenged books by year, banned and challenged classics, Banned Books Q&A, and more. Don’t forget to follow #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Instagram to stay abreast of the latest news.