Banned Books Week Display

17 Sep

IMG_20140912_160913Banned Books Week (September 21 – 27, 2014) is something every library should highlight because there are so many people unaware that this is something that occurs regularly across the country.  Books get banned for any number of reason, usually because they are “unsuited for the age group” due to content.

You’ll notice on the list below, some of the books are geared toward children, most are young adult novels and a few may be adult books.  I understand that some parents do not want their children reading something that isn’t appropriate, but banning/challenging books to be taken out of school and public libraries is something else entirely.  The First Amendment protects a person’s right to choose what they read and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom was created to “educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.”

For my book display, I focused solely on children’s books because we’re in the children’s department, but you’d be surprised (or maybe not) at what people have challenged over the years.  Everything from Shel Silverstein to E.B. White and everything in between.

My display has already opened the door for communication with some of our patrons as I have explained what the table represented and why it’s such a big deal.  Some people have seem concerned that their children want to read or have read books featured on this table, while others are excited their kids are excited to read.  The second picture in this post shows a sign that I created after talking with one family who didn’t realize this was something that happened.  Next year I’d love to create something that tells patrons why each book has been challenged, but for this year, I like the way it turned out!

Don’t forget to check out the ALA website for more information about Banned Books!

Top 10 Challenged Books in 2013


  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

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