Banned Books Week - Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark
Sunday, September 22, 2019

Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week promotes the freedom to read by celebrating books that have been challenged or banned. Challenging a book is when a group or individual attempts to remove or restrict a book, while banning is the actual removal of that material. Banning can happen in schools, school libraries, public libraries, colleges, and more.

BiblioTech, along with the American Library Association and countless other organizations, commemorate Banned Books Week as a way to celebrate intellectual freedom and to encourage discovery through reading. Learn more about the history of Banned Books Week here.

Why are books banned? Children's titles and young adult books are often challenged or banned by adults who think the content is not suitable for youth - though adult titles are often challenged as well. Here are a handful of the books challenged or banned in 2018. All titles featured on the 2018 top ten list are children's or teen books.

George by Alex Gino - Reasons: for "creating confusion", including a transgender character, describing male anatomy

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss - Reasons: for including LGBTQIA+ content, political viewpoints

Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey - Reasons: for encouraging disruptive behavior, Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir-Stinks-A-Lot also features a same sex couple

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Reasons: for promoting "anti-cop" sentiments, drug use, profanity, sexual references 

What can we do? 

         READ A BANNED BOOK. Check out Hoopla's list of banned books for great reads that have at one point been challenged or banned. You can also visit our Banned Books shelf on cloudLibrary. If you would like to learn more about the history of banned books, listen to the Banned Library podcast. Libraries are at the forefront of the fight against censorship - get a BiblioTech library card today to show your support. 

         REPORT. We can't fight censorship if we are unaware that it is happening. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom provides free and confidential support to anyone fighting a challenge or a ban. Report censorship here.

         SHARE. Share this article with someone who loves books. Write a letter to a Banned Author to show your support. You can also share your story on social media using the #DearBannedAuthor hashtag.

Stand with the banned and read a Banned Book today!