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Book Banning in Libraries

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Banned Books Week October 1-7, 2023 Let Freedom Read

"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. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom ALA documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022 (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/book-ban-data), the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, most were by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10)."

Source: ALA Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023) (https://bit.ly/ALA_Banned_Books_Week_2023)

The theme for Banned Books Week 2023 is "Let Freedom Read." 

When we ban books, we're closing off readers to people, places, and perspectives. But when we stand up for stories, we unleash the power that lies inside every book. We liberate the array of voices that need to be heard and the scenes that need to be seen. Let freedom read!

Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022

1. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kovabe

"Gender Queer" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kovabe

2. All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

"All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto" is available at Schumann Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

"The Bluest Eyes" is available at Schuman Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

4. Flamer by Mike Curato

"Flamer" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book Cover of Flamer by Mike Curato

5. (tie) Looking for Alaska by John Green

"Looking for Alaska" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of  Alaska by John Green

5. (tie) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

7. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

"Lawn Boy" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

9. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

"Out of Darkness" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

10. (tie) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

"A Court of Mist and Fury" is available to borrow via Boston Public Library (www.bpl.org) or through Interlibrary Loan (https://library.wit.edu/borrow-and-request/interlibrary-loan). 

Book cover of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

10. (tie) Crank by Ellen Hopkins

"Crank" is available at Schumann Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover by Crank by Ellen Hopkins

10. (tie) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

10. (tie) This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

"This Book is Gay" is available at Schumann Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

1. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kovabe

"Gender Queer" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kovabe

2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

"Lawn Boy" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

3. All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

"All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto" is available at Schumann Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope PĂ©rez

"Out of Darkness" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

"The Hate U Give" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

"The Bluest Eyes" is available at Schuman Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

"This Book is Gay" is available at Schumann Library and via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

"Beyond Magenta" is available for WIT users to borrow via the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium.

Book cover of Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

American Library Association