Every year, the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read with a week-long event called "Banned Books Week." During this week, libraries across the country highlight the value of free and open access to information. This is in response to individuals and organizations that would like to ban, or remove, materials from library collections because they are not aligned with their own personal beliefs and values. It is the role of libraries to provide materials for all patrons, not just the vocal majority.
Students might be surprised to learn which books have been challenged in the past. When a book is "challenged," it means some person or group has requested that the library or school remove the book. Libraries typically respond to challenges by following written guidelines that might include a committee to review the questionable material. In many cases, what offends one person, does not offend everyone and has a rightful place in the library. Some classics like The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are among the list of commonly challenged books.
The American Library Association has a very informative web page where you can learn more about Banned Books Week and the Freedom to Read. (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks) The American Library Association also produced the video shared below, which outlines some of the most-challenged books of 2016 and the reasons why people challenged them.
Visit the Grier Library today to see some of the famous Banned Books of the past on display and available for you to borrow.