As we draw near the official end of Banned Books Week, it’s time to ask ourselves, “What next?” Book challenges happen all the time, and our freedom to read is one that we should acknowledge year round. Obviously, making an effort to read books that have been banned or challenged is a great start, but we should look at ways to educate ourselves about why these books are banned.
Time magazine published an article this week called “What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears”. When ALA first started keeping statistics on banned books, the cited reasons for banning were usually “sexual content,” “violence,” or “offensive language.” But nowadays, books are more likely to be banned for issues pertaining to diversity, such as homosexuality, different religious viewpoints, or racism, according to the director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.
I can’t say for sure what has led to this supposed shift, but what I can say is that the issue of banned books is still as important as it was 20 years ago, if not more so. If you’re interested in learning more about the issues surrounding banned books, take a look at some of these resources and organizations.
Frequently Challenged Books
– Banned/Challenged Classics
–100 Frequently Challenged Books by Decade
–Frequently Challenged Books with Diverse Content
–Frequently Challenged Young Adult Books
–Frequently Challenged Children’s Books
There’s a lot to learn and a lot to talk about. Keep reading, and remember to celebrate every week like it’s Banned Books Week!
—Katie, Adult Reference