Books have been banned for centuries by governments, churches, schools and communities for political, religious and moral reasons. The Dictionary of Modern Serbo-Croatian Language was banned because “some definitions can cause disturbance among citizens”. Other books have been banned because they feature anthropomorphic animals. The last book banned in the United States was John Cleland’s 1749 novel, Fanny Hill (or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure). This occurred in 1963.
However, plenty of books continue to be challenged by schools and organizations and removed from access by restricted groups of the public. Check out the American Library Association’s top 100 list and the reasons these books were banned or challenged here. Currently there are hundreds of challenges to books in schools and libraries every year. This map shows documented cases of censorship from 2007 – 2011.
Celebrate your freedom to read by engaging in a banned book activity:
- Follow Banned Books Week on Facebook where you will find anecdotes and examples of challenges and censorship across the country.
- Participate in a Virtual Read-Out of a banned book and post your video to share with others around the world.
- Print out a list of the top 100 banned books and start reading, today!
- And check out our Banned Books display on the reference librarian hallway of the Library. (Thank you to Matt Froelich for a great job!)
~ Julie Morris ~