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The Weaver Library online guide to information on the annual Banned Books Week recognition and censorship.
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Banned Books Week?

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Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

From the American Library Association Website:


Who Bans or Challenges Books? Why?

Who Bans or Challenges Books?

First, it's important to emphasize that neither librarians nor libraries ban or challenge books!  Libraries are all about the freedom to read and librarians discourage censorship in all forms.  Typically, a book challenge or banning occurs when individual or group decides that a particular book does not belong on the shelf in a library because of something that particular individual or group does not like about the book.  Perhaps they think it uses offensive language or presents an idea that is radical or different from societal norms.  Perhaps these individuals believe they need to protect children or another group from non-mainstream, difficult or controversial ideas and information.  Parents challenge books more often than any other individual or group, but other examples are:  government bodies, elected officials, religious organizations or officials, board members and even teachers!  

Why are Books Banned or Challenged?

The top three reasons why books are challenged or banned are:  sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to any age group.  Other reasons include racism, anti-family, nudity, suicide, drugs, violence, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint and others!

Check out this American Library Association site listing the challenges by reason, initiator and institution:


Banned Books Week Twitterfeed


The Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2015

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read by Checking Out a Banned Book Today!

According to the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom, these are the ten most challenged books from 2015.  There were a total of 275 book challenges for 2015, so these ten are only a small representation of the books challenged or banned! Celebrate your freedom to read - stop by Weaver Library today to check out one of these (or other) books.  


  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.  Challenged for:  Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.  Ebooks available @ WEAVER LIBRARY.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James.  Challenged for:  sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, offensive language.  Ebooks available @ the WEAVER LIBRARY.    
  3. I am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings.  Challenged for:  innaccurage, homesexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group. Not currently available.  
  4. Beyond Magenta:  Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin.  Challenged for: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Ebook available @ WEAVER LIBRARY.  
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon.  Challenged for:  Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).  Ebook and Print Book available @ WEAVER LIBRARY: PR6058.A245.C87 2004.  
  6. The Holy Bible.  Challenged for:  Religious viewpoint.  Ebook available @ WEAVER LIBRARY.   
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel.  Challenged for:  violence and other graphic images.  Not currently available.
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson.  Challenged for: nudity, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Not currently available.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter.  Challenged for: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.  Not currently available.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan.  Challenged for: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).  Ebook available@ WEAVER LIBRARY.


Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out

Check out the Banned Books Week channel on YouTube.  Watch authors discuss censorship and banned books.


Mapping Censorship - Books Banned or Challenged in the USA

Check out more information at Mapping Censorship!


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