Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Banned Book Week is September 27-October 4

Did you know that the books Winne-the-Pooh and Charlotte's Web have been banned from some libraries in the past? This week marks the 27th anniversary of Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association, over 1,000 books have been challenged since 1982. You can find a list of the most commonly challenged books in 2007 here on the ALA website--there were nearly 400 of them! Other books that have been banned or challenged in the past include classics such as Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. More recently, popular books such as Harry Potter have been challenged as well.

Books are banned or challenged for many reasons. One of the main motivations is to protect children from being exposed to difficult subject matter. Content that often causes a book to get challenged includes topics such as racism, profanity, homosexuality, and other controversial issues.

Banning books is a form of censorship that impacts our right to choose. During this week, celebrate your right to choose what books you read and what issues you expose yourself to.

What are your thoughts on this week? Do you support censorship of some book titles in libraries? Do you think it matters who the library's main audience is. For example, do you think that elementary school libraries should be more conscious of what books they have available? Have you read any of the books that are listed as having been challenged or banned?

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