It’s Banned Books Week 2015, when libraries across the nation are celebrating our intellectual freedom by putting a spotlight on books that have been challenged for removal from the shelves. We’ve put a few such books from our own collection on display near the Reference desk.
Interested in what kind of books are getting challenged, these days? The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom maintains a database of challenged works and regularly updates the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged books list to bring attention to our First Amendment rights, the problem of censorship, and its impact on libraries, schools and communities.
The ALA’s Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, published six times annually, includes state-by-state challenges, developments in related federal and state laws, and a guide to current articles and books, from all points of view, on freedom of expression in America.
Did you know that some of the most challenged books in our history happen to been the most influential? This is evident in the Library of Congress exhibit, “Books that Shaped America,” which explores books that “have had a profound effect on American life.” A surprising number of those have been banned/challenged.
Want to explore the books in our display? Click on the title to find them in our catalog.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Censorship: 500 Years of Conflict from the New York Public Library
120 banned books: censorship histories of world literature by Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova
The Spycatcher Affair Chapman Pincher
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
Banned Books: 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D. by Anne Lyon Haight
We hope you’ll celebrate with us, this week, the freedom to read!
“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856–1941), Whitney v. California, 274 U. S. 357 (1927).