Banned and Challenged Books

Did You Know?

  • The first Banned Books Week hosted by the ALA was in 1982!
  • Over the 2022-2023 school year, the states with the most prevalent book bans/challenges were Texas, Florida, Missouri, Utah, and South Carolina. (via PEN America.)

What are Banned Books? 

Banned Books are books that have been challenged or removed from libraries, bookstores, or schools. 

What is Banned Books Week?

According to the American Library Association (ALA) "Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools. By focusing on efforts to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Typically (but not always) held during the last week of September, the annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, educators, authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas." (ALA, Banned Books Week

What you'll find in this guide:

Banned Books Week Programming at University Libraries

Lists of Banned Books and Reasons Why

Statistics on Banned Books

Resources on Censorship and Intellectual Freedom

Glossary of Important Terms


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Haley Simpson
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