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McKee Library

Banned Books Week 2022

by Jessica Spears on 2022-09-06T11:09:00-04:00 in Blog, English | Comments

Banned Books Week, held this year from September 18 - 24, is an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), celebrating the freedom to read. We invite you to learn about censorship and fight for your freedom to read. "Books encourage boundless exploration and allow readers to spread their wings. Stories give flight to new ideas and perspectives. Reading—especially books that set us free—expands our worldview. Censorship, on the other hand, locks away our freedom and divides us from humanity in our own cages" (

ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom tracks the number of challenges (attempts to censor) that take place each year. The office "tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals" ( 

We invite you to learn more about the dangers of censorship by checking out a book from our display and answering our sticky-note discussion board questions. 

Books You Might Not Know Have Been Challenged or Banned


Learn More About Censorship 

Censorship is defined as "the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security" (Oxford Dictionary). While not new, there has been a recent rise in requests for removing materials from academic and public libraries. Learn more about the dangerous effects of censorship by exploring the recommended resources below.

  • Writers and Censorship - Streaming Film
    Authors Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin know about severe censorship firsthand. In this program, Suanne Kelman, of Ryerson University, opens the subject of censoring in literature using Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Diviners, and the Harry Potter series—all banned at one time or another or under threat of banning—as examples. Expanding on the theme, Rushdie (The Satanic Verses) then talks about fundamentalist Muslim sensibilities, living under a fatwa, and the writer’s role in the world, while Nasrin (Lajja) discusses patriarchal oppression of women, her escape from Bangladesh, and life in exile. (27 minutes)
  • Censorship of Young Adult Literature - Streaming Film
    This program discusses censorship from the viewpoints of authors, students, educators, and society. It considers common bases for censorship and features a debate between pro-censorship and anti-censorship points of view.
  • Censorship from Credo Reference
    View encyclopedia articles, academic journals, and more on the topic of censorship.
  • Battle Over Books: Censorship in American Schools - Streaming Film

    John Scopes went on trial for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution; nearly 70 years later, an Illinois English teacher was confronted by protesters who demanded that J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye "not be assigned for reading"—adding that their demand should not be interpreted as "censorship or banning books." Whatever it’s called, it means that books are under attack—from "Cinderella" to Huckleberry Finn. This program looks at how teachers can prepare themselves against attack, and looks at those who, in the name of religion or equality or whatever cause, are aiming the censor’s gun at teachers and books. (20 minutes)

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