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.
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. -from the American Library Association
LRC Staff Favorite Banned Books:
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (Heather): Banned/challenged because “talking animals are confusing to children”
Ulysses by James Joyce (John): Banned/challenged for vulgarity. Everyone should have the same right to struggle through this beautiful but exceedingly complex novel!
Runner up: The Lorax by Dr. Suess (John): Banned/challenged because it allegedly “turned children against the logging industry” by portraying it in a negative light.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum (Bill): Banned/challenged because it contains the depiction of a “good witch” (“everyone knows that witches are bad”) and also for its supposedly socialist values.
Runner-up: the dictionary (Bill): Yes, some dictionaries have been banned/challenged. Why? Because they contain definitions of sexual words.
Top 10 Challenged Books by Year: Yearly list of the most frequently banned books as compiled by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom
Banned Books Week 30th Anniversary: Some interesting info regarding resources, quotes, and library celebrations for Banned Book Week
Banned Books Week Home: Includes the Virtual Readout!
Books That Shaped America: the Library of Congress list of important novels “written by Americans” and that “have shaped our lives”–Note how many also appear on the Banned Books list!