This week marks the annual celebration of Banned Books Week, a week dedicated to intellectual freedom and the right to read without censorship. Every year, hundreds of books are banned in the U.S. and thousands more are banned world wide.
What does Banned mean?
A banned book can mean that there is a nation wide, region wide, city wide, or institutional restriction from reading a specific book. More commonly, books are banned from schools, libraries, bookstores and more because an individual challenges it’s content.
What does Challenge mean?
A book challenge occurs when an individual or institution feels the content of a book is not appropriate in some way, and they make a formal complaint with the goal of having the book removed.
Books are still being banned even today, a fact which many people are unaware of. And for every book that is banned, those individuals are effectively controlling what others are allowed to read.
Banned books week is a time to celebrate, loudly, the right to read what you want. You can check out a map of bans taking place over the last few years here. Or visit the American Library Association’s site to see a list of frequently banned items. The list includes some great works such as The Great Gatsby, the Harry Potter series, The Giver, The Catcher in the Rye, and more.
Stop by OCAC library to see a list of commonly banned books and, of course, to check some out to read.