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Banned and Challenged Books

Banned Books Week

History of Banned Books Week

Banned Book Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, typically held during the last week of September. Banned Books Week was co-founded in 1982 by librarian Judith Krug in her role as director at The Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. Banned Books Week started after Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

Banned books were showcased at the 1982 American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California. At the entrance to the convention center towered large, padlocked metal cages, with some 500 challenged books stacked inside and a large overhead sign cautioning that some people considered these books dangerous.

50 Years of Intellectual Freedom The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom celebrates its history. (2017, November 1). Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2017/11/01/50-years-office-intellectual-freedom/

 


For more information about Banned Books week:

The ALA site about Banned Books week: https://bannedbooksweek.org/

PEN America's Coverage of Banned Books week: https://pen.org/?s=banned+books+week

National Council of Teachers of English: https://ncte.org/resources/ncte-intellectual-freedom-center/banned-books-week/

From Reading Partners: "The little-known history of banned books in the United States"

From National Council of Teachers of English: "A look back at the history of banned book week"

Libraries: An American Value

Libraries in America are cornerstones of the communities they serve. Free access to the books, ideas, resources, and information in America’s libraries is imperative for education, employment, enjoyment, and self-government.

Libraries are a legacy to each generation, offering the heritage of the past and the promise of the future. To ensure that libraries flourish and have the freedom to promote and protect the public good in the 21st century, we believe certain principles must be guaranteed.

To that end, we affirm this contract with the people we serve:

  • We defend the constitutional rights of all individuals, including children and teenagers, to use the library’s resources and services;
  • We value our nation’s diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve;
  • We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services;
  • We connect people and ideas by helping each person select from and effectively use the library’s resources;
  • We protect each individual’s privacy and confidentiality in the use of library resources and services;
  • We protect the rights of individuals to express their opinions about library resources and services;
  • We celebrate and preserve our democratic society by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions and ideas, so that all individuals have the opportunity to become lifelong learners - informed, literate, educated, and culturally enriched.

Change is constant, but these principles transcend change and endure in a dynamic technological, social, and political environment.

By embracing these principles, libraries in the United States can contribute to a future that values and protects freedom of speech in a world that celebrates both our similarities and our differences, respects individuals and their beliefs, and holds all persons truly equal and free.

Adopted February 3, 1999, by the
Council of the American Library Association