Thursday 29 Sep, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

Photo credit: Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen

The Coralville Public Library in Coralville, IA, created a banned book display in which volunteers read books that are banned in schools or libraries in America. 

All this week citizens across the country are coming together to celebrate the right to and benefits of free and open access to information during Banned Book Week.

History of Banned Book Week

Banned Book Week began in the early 80s when a group from the American Society of Journalists and Authors began a public campaign to raise awareness about book banning in America. On April 1, 1982, a group gathered on the steps of the New York City Public Library on Fifth Avenue and read from banned books. From these efforts grew the movement and the annual Banned Books Week, which is always held on the last week of September.

Book banning and burning has a long history across the globe. From Confucius writings in ancient China and Roman poets to scientific works and Mickey Mouse comics, read this timeline of book banning.

Banned Book Week 2011

Banned Book Week 2011 is being celebrated September 24-October 1. Schools and libraries are planning activities like the unbanning of a Mark Twain short story at the public library in Charlton, MA; library employees donning banned-book character costumes in Kannapolis, NC; and a librarian being “arrested” for reading banned books in Gadsden, Alabama.

You can also join in the virtual celebration, check out the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel to view videos of people reading from banned books or add your own video!

Banned Book Resources

Peruse the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of most banned books from the past two decades and you might find more than a few surprises.

With information from the ALA, this map pinpoints which books are banned where.

Storysnoops—and online forum for parents to recommend and review books for children and young adults—have a variety of Banned Book Week content, including an interview with Lois Lowry. Lowry is the author of numerous books, several of which have been challenged or banned like Number the Stars and The Giver.

This ALA guide provides a comprehensive look at books banned and challenged last year.

And this infographic from the Huffington Post illustrates the reason the top ten most banned books in 2010 were taken from shelves. And you might be shocked by the 11 Most Surprising Banned Books of all time.


Did your community or school celebrate Banned Books Week?