We are coming to the end of Banned Books Week, a week dedicated to free expression. The American Library Association, alongside a number of other organizations, promotes this campaign to spread awareness for the freedom to read and spreads attention towards banned and challenged books.
To this day, books are frequently challenged within schools, libraries and other organizations. When a book is challenged, a person or group is arguing that it should be removed from a collection and, therefore, unavailable for anyone to access in that organization. The urge to censor expression one disagrees with is very much present today, despite an increase in information access and regulation by the First Amendment. Nevertheless, these challenged books remain available in one way or another to the public due to the people who stand up for the freedom to read.
We have been celebrating Banned Books Week at the Dundee Library Youth Services Department through the display of children’s books that have been most frequently challenged based on statistics from the American Library Association. To see more lists of challenged books, see the ALA website.