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Virtual Displays: Banned Book Week Oct. 1 - 7

This guide showcases eBook versions of physical displays at the Fr. Leonard Alvey Library.

"Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For more than 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, writers, journalists, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular." (Banned books Week About)

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) decides upon a theme to highlight specific areas impacted by book bans. This year's theme "Let Freedom Read" works to highlight how when books are banned, people are closed off to people, places, and perspectives that help make them more developed and informed citizens. 

“This is a dangerous time for readers and the public servants who provide access to reading materials. Readers, particularly students, are losing access to critical information, and librarians and teachers are under attack for doing their jobs.”
- Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom 

ALA's Censorship by the Numbers Report

ALA compiles data on book challenges from reports filed by library professionals in the field and from news stories published throughout the United States. Because many book challenges are not reported to the ALA or covered by the press, the 2022 data compiled by ALA represents a snapshot of book censorship throughout 2022. A challenge to a book may be resolved in favor of retaining the book in the collection, or it can result in a book being restricted or withdrawn from the library. (By the Numbers)

Book Ban PBS News Hour Video

Battles have erupted at schools, school boards, and library meetings across the country as parents, lawmakers, and advocacy groups are debating books. The American Library Association documented more than 1,200 demands to censor books and resources last year, the highest since it started collecting data 20 years ago. In this NewsHour program, Jeffrey Brown discusses more on the topic with the group's director, Deborah Caldwell-Stone. (via video description)

Library Spotify Playlist: POV Your Favorite Book Gets Banned

The Fr. Leonard Alvey Library Staff has made a Spotify playlist for you to listen to if you are feeling upset about the book bans going on across the county.

Critical Insights: Censored & Banned Literature

This book examines the wide range of important literary texts that have been subjected to censorship, either at the time of their first publication, later in their history, or both. All of the essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

  • Why search here?
    • Gale's Opposing Viewpoints In Context is the premier online resource covering today's hottest social issues, from capital punishment to immigration to marijuana. This cross-curricular research database supports science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes.
  • Specific to book banning:
    • This database includes a "Browse Issues" feature that allows readers to see multiple perspectives on the subject be put into conversation with one another so that the reader can form their own opinions. 

Forbidden Literature: Case Studies on Censorship (Open Access)

Freedom of the printed word is a defining feature of the modern world. Yet censorship and the suppression of literature never cease, and remain topical issues even in the most liberal of democracies. Today just as in the past, advances in media technology are followed by new regulatory mechanisms. Similarly, any attempt to control cultural expression inevitably spurs fresh discussions about freedom of speech. In Forbidden Literature scholars from a variety of disciplines address censorship’s past and present, whether in liberal democracies or totalitarian regimes. Through in-depth case studies they trace a historical continuum in which literature reveals its two-sided nature: it demands both regulation and protection. 

Report from April 7th, 2022 About Book Bans and Academic Censorship

This report comes from the U.S. Government Publishing Office and provides coverage of a hearing before the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, House of Representatives. This focus of this hearing was Free Speech Under Attack: Book Bans and Academic Censorship and it took place on April 7, 2022.