This week, September 22 - 27, is Banned Books Week!
What is it?
"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week 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."
You mean people STILL ban books?!
Yes! "The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. (They) compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools." Over this recent past decade, 5,099* challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
- 1,577 challenges due to "sexually explicit" material;
- 1,291 challenges due to "offensive language";
- 989 challenges due to materials deemed "unsuited to age group";
- 619 challenged due to "violence"' and
- 361 challenges due to "homosexuality."
- 274 materials were challenged due to "occult" or "Satanic" themes;
- 291 were challenged due to their "religious viewpoint,"
- 119 because they were "anti-family."
What can I do?
Stay informed! Browse our Banned Books Guide. Check out a banned book! Celebrate your freedom to read any book you want! This year's theme is comics and graphic novels, visit the new graphic novels sections at your Green and Hubert Libraries! Participate in a read out - visit Hubert Library on Thursday, 9/25 for a graphic novel-themed read out!