Will you let others decide what is fit for you to read? We won’t.

censorAccording to the American Library Association’s website, the numbers below represent the number of “challenges” made to library materials over the past 8 years.  What’s a “challenge”? It is an attempt to remove or restrict access to an item because the initiator finds it disagreeable for a stated reason. From September 26th through October 3rd, libraries across the nation will be celebrating their fREADom during Banned Books Week, in observation of our first amendment right to free speech.  Join us by reading your favorite controversial book.  Be daring.  Take a risk.  Read a book.

  • 1,225 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
  • 1,008 challenges due to “offensive language”;
  • 720 challenges due to material deemed “unsuited to age group”;
  • 458 challenges due to “violence”
  • 269 challenges due to “homosexuality”
  • 103 challenges dut to being “anti-family”
  • 233 challenges because of “religious viewpoints”


“A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to modern Iraq”(Baez, 2008)

“Literature Suppressed on [Sexual, Social, Religious, or Political] Grounds”(Sova, Bald, or Karolides, 2006)

“Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction” (Warburton, 2009)

“Freedom for the Thougth we Hate: A Biography of the First Ammendment” (Lewis, 2007)


 Classic Books Frequently Challenged(American Library Association)
Top Challenged Books by Year(American Library Association)
First Amendment Overview (Cornell University Law School)

Image courtesy of flickr (Red Dawn)

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